SACRAMENTO — The suspected Fort Lauderdale shooter appeared to have followed the rules for traveling with a gun. Which, as security expert Hector Alvarez showed FOX40, basically consists of carrying the unloaded gun in a secure case in checked luggage and declaring it at check-in.
But as Alvarez, who says he has flown with a gun about two dozen times, knows once a traveler gets their luggage from baggage claim it’s up to them what they do with it.
Alvarez suspects the Fort Lauderdale shooting will lead not just to discussions about changing procedure for traveling with a weapon, but for accessing public places in airports.
“So we’re talking about the whole luggage procedure he could have just as easily had it in a car, had a friend bring it around, there’s a hundred different ways to get a firearm into a public area,” Alvarez said.
The tragic truth of this made headlines in 2013 when a man opened fire at TSA in Los Angeles International Airport. And in June of 2016 several men shot guns and set off bombs in the TSA PreCheck areas of a Turkish airport.
“If we have more security in the public areas, where’s that next line? Is it the parking structures?” Alvarez asked.
Traveler Gary Sharpe is afraid to think of what he’d have to give up to eliminate all risks.
“I think it would be extremely difficult to avoid that without making security requirements so stringent we might as well be living in a police state,” Sharpe said.
Alvarez believes truly making travel safer will depend largely on the intelligence community identifying and tracking potential attackers before they attack.