Monday, June 11, 2012

Mark Benedetto Blames Delta Airlines for his own Ignorance

The Argus Leader reports

The president of the University of Sioux Falls is suing Delta Airlines over an incident last fall that ended with a night in a Queens, N.Y., jail.

Mark Benedetto was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm after a fall trip to New York City, and his lawsuit claims that Delta breached its duty to him as a customer by failing to inform him of the city’s restrictive gun laws.

The charge, which has been dropped and expunged from Benedetto’s record, came when a Delta employee reported him to law enforcement in New York.
If his complaint were that the City of New York acted in bad faith by locking him up for a night when it was clear he was just ignorant of the law, I could accept it, but blaming the airlines is not right.

He should be embarrassed about his incredible lack of knowledge, thinking he could bring a gun to New York, but rather than take responsibility for that, he's blaming the airline.

It's shabby.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. We have a rare point of agreement here, Mikeb. Suing the airline for this is shabby. Suing the city, on the other hand, for its stupid law makes sense.

    1. I disagree with you and Mike, but only because his lawyer claims that it is Delta policy to call the police on anyone who checks a firearm at JFK or La Guardia. If that is indeed their policy, they should be obligated to inform anyone who is traveling to NYC that they have a strong chance of being arrested. They should even inform travelers if it just a connection (because you could have a canceled flight and be forced to take possession of your gun while in NYC), but especially when it is the final destination and they are returning from there. If they have an official policy to call the police, then part of that policy should be to tell travelers to NYC that they will call the police on them. That is not asking for much.

      I would be in agreement with you if was the personal decision of the ticketing agent in New York to call the police, and if Delta’s official policy is to stay out of it and let gun owners sort out the legal implications of travel- because yes, I do agree that the responsibly to be aware of onerous laws in gun control havens ultimately falls on the individual. What if it were Delta’s policy to inform NYPD in route, and they police wait for him at baggage claim and slap the cuffs on as soon as he picks up his bag? This situation isn’t much different given the circumstances of a known South Dakota resident, and knowing that his return flight is leaving from NYC. There is very little chance he won’t be arrested (unless he doesn’t return with the gun, or has dual residence and NYC has graciously allowed him to own a gun there). As an aside, I don’t know how they can get away with these arrests under the FOPA. That is a lawsuit that needs to be brought to New York.

      Before I got into gun rights I wasn’t aware of how bad the law is in some places- so this could have been me. Ironically it was moving to California and reading about the laws that turned me into a “gun rights extremist” because I realized how easy it is to go to prison here. We all have to do our due diligence to be informed, and being informed creates passion for the cause.

    2. TS, thanks for the further information. That makes things look different. It is ridiculous that New York is so paranoid about guns that a person can't even travel peacefully through the city without being put at risk.

    3. As an update, Sebastian just informed me that FOPA does not apply to air travel. I looked at the text, and he is right. I still have much to learn about all the ways you can be sent to jail. Yet we are supposed to believe that guns are unregulated in this country? Yeah, right.

      To further clarify my position, Delta should not be responsible for informing travelers with guns what the law in NYC is, only that their policy is to call the police anytime someone tries to check a gun there. If the gun owner is ignorant of the NYC law and says “fine, I am not doing anything wrong- we have a second amendment in this country”, then they bear the consequences.

    4. I live in Arizona. On one occasion I traveled to Mexico for dental work, but forgot to bring my passport. They let me into Mexico without a problem, because they don't check passports going in, only going out. When I tried to leave, I was under strict interrogation.
      How can ANY GOVERNMENT, U.S. or OTHERWISE, not give explicit laws detailing ingoing and outgoing.
      The AIRLINES know the laws and should be held responsible AND accountable for advising their clients (the travellers) of any adverse effects when they know the beforehand....evidenced by the agent who caught this.
      By the way, my name is Ed Parkinson

  2. The ignorance is law after law after law in this country. Why does the state of New York have any say on my right to possess inanimate objects of my choosing?

  3. I find it hard to believe that the president of any university can be so ignorant of the gun laws in New York to have thought he could do this. But not accepting responsibility for that is what I mainly object to.

    Yet, whoever made the decision to lock him up overnight should be slapped. That was an abuse of power.