Air passengers reminded: Guns, bullets banned from planes
NOT to belabor the obvious, the aviation police reminded airline passengers to avoid bringing prohibited items — specifically guns and ammunition — in their baggage for a hassle-free trip.
The Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group (PNP-Avsegroup) issued the reminder noting the interception since January of at least 10 passengers who had firearms and ammunition in their luggage.
While some passengers bring bullets to get lucky, the PNP-Avsegroup director, Chief Supt. Pablo Francisco Balagtas, said that the charms would only get them kicked off their flights and out of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport or possibly earn them a criminal charge.
Balagtas told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, “There is really no reason for them to bring firearms and ammunition when they travel.”
He pointed out that even if the passenger could justify his bringing a gun or bullet to his trip, he would still get offloaded from the flight. “It will not matter if the passenger has a permit to carry or a license for his gun. He will not be allowed to board the plane,” the Avsegroup director said.
In the case of the passengers who had firearms and bullets in their carry-on or checked-in luggage, they were arrested and charged with violating the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.
Most of the passengers accosted from the different NAIA terminals, according to Balagtas, had bullets for luck.
“We cannot allow passengers to keep bullets even as lucky charms,” he said, citing a case where a passenger had fashioned out a cross pendant out of two bullets.
Likewise, he said there were instances where the flyer simply forgot or overlooked he had ammunition in his luggage.
Balagtas pointed out that one passenger, found in possession of several bullets, claimed that he borrowed his bag from a gun enthusiast who apparently stashed the ammunition in the bag.
Still, the Avsegroup director said another passenger was offloaded from a domestic flight because gun parts were discovered in his luggage.
“Whatever explanation they give us for keeping ammunition or firearms, they will be kicked out of the flight. It is just a matter of determining whether they will be charged criminally for their possession or not,” Balagtas stressed.
Based on Avsegroup records, 11 passengers were arrested and charged in court for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition since January when one passenger was caught carrying a 9mm pistol with 10 live rounds in his hand-carried baggage.
In March, six departing passengers were arrested separately for possession of assorted guns and live ammunition and were offloaded from the flight. Four passengers were arrested and kicked out of their flights separately in April for having ammunition as well as gun parts and accessories in their luggage.
“Again we are appealing to the public to always ensure that they packed their own baggage and belongings, if not, ensure that these baggage are free from any illegal items so they will have a worry-free trip,” the Avsegroup chief said, referring to narcotics and firearms and other weapons.
Among items that must never be carried in an airline passenger’s checked or unchecked baggage for safety and security reasons are: briefcases with alarm devices or lithium batteries and pyrotechnics; explosive, munition, fireworks and flares; compressed flammable, non-flammable or poisonous gases; Tasers and stun guns; flammable liquids and solids; oxidizing, toxic, infectious, and corrosive substances as well as radioactive materials; and other magnetized, offensive or irritating substances that might endanger the flight. SFM/ABC
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.