Margulies on Weapons in Stuffed Toy
From WJAR, NBC 10: "Gun in toys at RI airport was custody dispute" by Katie Davis
WARWICK, R.I., May 09, 2012: A professor of national security law at Roger Williams University told NBC 10 on Wednesday that airport security officials did their job well when they found gun parts and ammunition hidden inside stuffed animals at T.F. Green Airport.
"Here you had Mickey Mouse involved. But what we've learned over the last 10 years is that every terrorist plot seems like Mickey Mouse, until it's not," said professor Peter Margulies, NBC 10 National Security Analyst.
Gun parts found inside stuffed animals at T.F. Green
Transportation Security Administration agents found the parts of a .40 caliber gun Monday concealed in a Mickey Mouse, a teddy bear and a rabbit, and carried by a passenger.
Chief Leo Messier of the Rhode Island Airport Police said Tuesday the incident wasn't a terrorist plot but the result of a domestic dispute.
"Unfortunately people sometimes get into very bitter disputes and they lose perspective. That seems to be what happened here," Margulies said.
Rhode Island Airport Police said more details will be released when its investigation is complete.
TSA officials said the man told authorities he didn't know the parts were inside the stuffed toys.
The man, who was traveling to Detroit with his 4-year-old son, was stopped when a TSA officer noticed the disassembled gun parts inside three stuffed animals.
The stuffed animals were inside the child's carry-on bag, which had been put through an X-ray machine as part of normal security screening.
Similar scares across the country have made headlines several times in the past month often leading to arrests.
In Rhode Island, the boy's father was questioned by police and the FBI, but was later released and allowed to fly the next day.
Other passengers said Wednesday the person responsible for hiding the gun should face charges.
"Who placed them? If he's in a custody thing, why did the child have them in the bag, if he had the child? That's the part that concerned me," said Joann Robbins.
"I'm just glad that they found them. That's great that airport security was at least able to detect that," said Staci Steinberg.
Families like the Steinbergs said they understand that everyone needs to be searched, even small children.
"If things are being planted on people, I mean, who says it couldn't be planted on a kid?" said Garrett Steinberg.
It wasn't immediately known whether the other person involved in the domestic dispute will face charges.
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