No Fly List Story

by crfcook on June 16, 2016

I want to take a few minutes to share my “no-fly list” story.
In August 2007, I flew from Providence to Chicago to visit one of my childhood friends. It’d been years since we’ve talked. Since we re-connected, I had gotten into shooting and became a firearms instructor. I want to take my new passion and share with my old friend.
I brought my four handguns with me. I checked them in with TSA, as I’m supposed to do. I purchased ammunition in the Chicago area from the range where we were going to shoot.
On the way back after the plane landed, I stopped at the restroom then proceeded to pick up my suitcase.  But I couldn’t, because my suitcase was not there.  I waited and I looked.  I couldn’t find it.
I reported this to the luggage retrieval person. They said it would probably be on the next flight and they can call me and I can come pick it up later.  I didn’t receive a call the next day. Or the next.
I contacted the FBI stolen firearm hotline. I called the police in Chicago and Providence. I called the airlines and airports in Chicago and Providence.  No one could answer any of my questions. I sent in the FA-10 form to tell Massachusetts my firearms were stolen.
Later that week, I called all the news outlets in Boston to tell them that I had a story if they wanted to report it. I did hear from one newscaster, who interviewed me and put my story on television. I also got a call from a news person in Chicago, who is affiliated with the Boston channel. My story was on the tv news in both Boston and Chicago and on their websites.
Two weeks after I got home, I got a phone call from someone in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He called to tell me his roommate stole my suitcase and he was turning everything over to the local police department. I called that local police department to tell them what was going on also. Later that week I picked up three of my four handguns and none of my clothes, which were missing.
The criminal who stole my suitcase ended it up getting caught trying to sell my snubnose revolver in downtown Providence.  I did everything legitimately and by the book, yet I still ended up being the victim of a crime. I legally owned the guns.  I legally transported them.  I reported to TSA and did research on the airline’s policies about transporting firearms.
no fly list 3
The judge wanted to sentence the criminal way for one year. I did some research and found out selling a stolen firearm is punishable by 10 to 20 years in Rhode Island. I wrote the judge a letter telling him anything less than 10 years is unconscionable because that’s what the law states.  The criminal has been in jail since 2007.  If I didn’t write that letter, the judge would have given him one year.
Fast forward to 2009. I had to fly out of Providence again for a weekend. I wasn’t taking any guns with me. I checked in to receive my boarding pass. I gave the person my flight information and my driver’s license. She looked up my name and give me my driver’s license back. As I was putting my license away, she asked if she could see my driver’s license again. I happily obliged.
She checked my name on her computer again. I asked if everything was OK. She said what my name was on the “no-fly list”. Then she slid me my boarding pass and my driver’s license and said “have a nice flight”.
Somehow my name got on the no-fly list and I was still able to fly.
I also got through the metal detector with a small pocket knife that was on my gun key chain.  I had a metal fork for my salad and a kubaton.  This happened just after I found out I was on the no-fly list.  By the way…I had these on the flight home, too.
Two days later on the return flight, I went to check in. The counter worker said I should use the kiosk to self check in. After a few unsuccessful attempts to sign in that way, she came over to see what was going on. I told her that two days before I was on the no-fly list. She asked to see my driver’s license. We went back to her computer, she printed out my boarding pass and again told me “have a nice flight”.
I don’t know how my name got on that list. I can only assume that since I traveled with firearms two years before and my firearms were stolen I ended up on that list. Other than that, there was nothing that I was doing that could have gotten me on the no-fly list.
I have flown since then and I haven’t had any issues.
The thing about the no-fly list is that people can end up on it arbitrarily. They can be taken off of it arbitrarily. No one knows how to get on the list.  No one know how to get off the list. The other thing is I can give them a false name and a false driver’s license.
I don’t see how the no-fly list is going to stop people from purchasing firearms. Or even from getting on airplanes.  Criminals and terrorists don’t buy firearm legally.  They steal them from victims…like me.
~ Charlie
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AR15 vs M16 Pop Quiz

by crfcook on June 15, 2016

I’m a teacher for over 20 years. I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with others. So…

Let’s have a pop quiz!

Which is an assault weapon: the top or the bottom one?

AR vs M16

We will assume these are both only have two options on the safety: safe and fire. If they have safe, fire and burst, then it would be a machine gun and civilians haven’t been able to own a machine gun since the National Firearm Act of 1934 (unless they have a machine gun license).

There are 5 “evil” features that would make an “assault rifle”. Those are: pistol grip, collapsible stock, flash hider, bayonet lug and grenade launcher.

These features are purely cosmetic. They do not change how many rounds of ammunition the gun holds. They do not change how fast it can be fired. They do not make it shoot more people.

The pistol grip is the most ergonomic what to hold the rifle. The collapsible stock makes it easier to handle for smaller sized people. The flash hider reduces the muzzle flash for when the shooter is shooting in low lighted areas. The bayonet lug means you can’t attach a bayonet (knife) on the end of it. And the grenade launcher is where you could fire grenades from.

I always use air quotes around the word “evil” as none of them change anything about the rifle except it’s looks. The only evil feature is the person shooting it. The police use AR15s with 4 of 5 “evil” features but they call it a “patrol rifle”.

The answer is….

The top one fits the definition of an “assault rifle”. It has a pistol grip a bayonet lug. It looks like collapse stock buy it could have a pin in it so it doesn’t adjust. The flash hider could have a cylinder shape inside of it rather than a cone shape. The cone shape makes it a flash hider. The cylinder shape does not make it a flash hider.

Bonus points…. How about this one?!!?

AR w no evil features




It has ZERO “evil” features!  The grip connects to the stock (so its not a pistol grip) and the stock doesn’t collapse. There no flash hider or bayonet lug.  And there isn’t a grenade launcher. So, it IS a modern sporting rifle. Many will say its not an AR15 since it doesn’t look like one.

I how you passed!!

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Stolen Firearms in Worcester, MA with a Side of Media Bias

November 17, 2015

On Sat November 15, 2015, sixteen firearms were stolen from an Army armory in Worcester, MA. The guns that were stolen where six M4 rifles. And ten Sig Sauer P228 pistols. An M4 is a fully automatic version of an AR 15. The safety selector has safe, fire and burst. On “fire”, you squeeze the […]

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Smart Gun Technology is Not a Smart Idea

November 3, 2015

    State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg wants to revamp “smart gun technology”. NJ Senator wants to Revamp Smart Gun Bill  (Read article here) This is completely ridiculous. And I’ll tell you why. 1) Fingerprint readers run on electricity run by batteries. Batteries loose juice. Do you want to trust you life on something that […]

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Guns in Gun Free Zones

October 4, 2015

This will never end. Ever. This past week there was another mass shooting on a community college campus. Nine people were killed. Another 10 were shot and injured. There’s a story of a former military man who stopped the murderer/shooter and he was shot 7 times. There’s a story of another man who was armed […]

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Tragedy into a Teachable Moment

October 4, 2015

  Tragedy into a Teachable Moment Man Kills Himself While Taking a Selfie A 19 year old man shot and killed himself while taking a selfie.  He didn’t mean to shoot himself; he just didn’t know the Gun Safety Rules. We have 3 Gun Safety Rules.  1. Always Keep the Gun Pointed in a Safe […]

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Reholstering and Gun Safety Rule #2

September 11, 2015

Recently a man shot and killed himself while reholstering his gun in an appendix carry holster. The gun discharged. The bullet went into his leg and struck his femoral artery. He died two hours later.The man went to take a selfie while posing with his gun on a Friday night at 11 PM. Bearing Arms […]

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Something for New Gun Owners to Consider

September 2, 2015

A lot of students that I have are new to firearms and new firearm ownership. I have a number of students that take the NRA Home Firearm Safety class with me. I want to share some thoughts with you about what to go next and what your next steps should be. First, before you make […]

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Vince Vaughn, guns in school, and some common sense

June 20, 2015

Hollywood celebrity actor Vince Vaughn has taken some heat for saying that teachers should carry guns in school.  Having been a teacher in public and private schools for over 20 years and having been a firearms instructor for a number of years, I certainly totally agree with him. Let me give you some food for thought… […]

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Traveling with a firearm

May 27, 2015

Traveling with a firearm With summer upon us and people taking vacations, some people want to know about traveling with their firearm. It’s entirely legal to do so as long as you are following the laws of each of the states where you are traveling. In 1996, President Ronald Reagan signed FOPA: Firearm Owners Protection […]

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