More and More People Are Bringing Guns Into Philadelphia’s Airport

Loaded guns, no less. Plus, more Greyhound bus station drama.

The gun confiscated from a Florida man at the Philadelphia airport on Monday (photo courtesy TSA)

The gun confiscated from a Florida man at the Philadelphia airport on Monday (photo courtesy TSA)

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More and More People Are Bringing Guns Into Philadelphia’s Airport

There are all sorts of things you have to remember when you’re approaching a TSA checkpoint at Philadelphia International Airport. Take your shoes off. Empty your pockets. Remove your belt, jacket, and headwear. Take your laptop out of your bag. Guzzle any remaining beverages you have on your person. And, oh yes, don’t show up with a gun.

Somehow, more and more people can’t seem to follow this last rule. Just three days ago, TSA officers at PHL confiscated a 9mm gun from a Florida man. He had the gun in his carry-on. And not just a gun. A gun loaded with six bullets! He’s facing a weapons charge as well as a civil penalty that could go as high as $15,000.

In all of 2019, the TSA confiscated 20 guns at PHL checkpoints. Last year, that number had more than doubled, at 44. And this year, with nearly two full months to go— months that also happen to be among the busiest travel months of the year — we’re already at 41.

“It is disappointing that we need to remind gun owners over and over that they can’t carry a loaded firearm onto a plane,” said the TSA’s security director at PHL in a statement. “There is no excuse for bringing a gun to our checkpoints.”

Almost exactly a year ago, TSA agents confiscated a loaded gun from Philly rapper Tierra Whack at PHL. Authorities reportedly believed it was just an honest mistake on her part and charged her with a summary offense.

You can, actually, travel with a firearm. But you need to carefully follow protocol and check the gun in at the ticketing counter in the proper container. If you’re showing up at the TSA checkpoint and you have a gun in your pocket or in your carry-on, you are, quite simply, doing it wrong.

Major Philly Bus “Station” Is Moving Yet Again

Back in June, Greyhound announced that it was shutting down its full-service indoor Filbert Street station and becoming a curbside carrier, in a city-approved plan that allowed the company to drop off and pick up passengers at 6th and Market streets, where bus companies like MegaBus and FlixBus were already operating.

Thanks to the volume of Greyhound activity and the pedestrian and traffic congestion that already existed at 6th and Market streets, this plan didn’t turn out so well. Literally nobody was a fan. Urbanist and Inquirer writer Inga Saffron went so far as to call the whole thing “a humanitarian disaster and a municipal disgrace.” Oof.

On Wednesday, the city announced that the Great Greyhound 6th-and-Market Experiment was over. As of a week from today, the 6th and Market “station” (the word’s in quotes because there’s literally no station … it’s little more than a curb) will be no more. Instead, all of the bus companies that have been using 6th and Market are being redirected to the intersection of Spring Garden Street and Columbus Boulevard in Northern Liberties.

“The volume and nature of complaints leave the situation at 6th and Market streets completely untenable,” said Mike Carroll, Deputy Managing Director for the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability, in a statement. Carroll went on to say that the city is still trying to find a better solution than a street corner, but that in the meantime, Spring Garden and Columbus Boulevard was the best it could do.

The city says it will probably need to get rid of some of the parking spots on Noble Street to make room for buses. And there’s also a bike lane detour involved.

Based on what’s being said in the Northern Liberties neighborhood Facebook groups, many Northern Liberties residents are none too happy about all of this.

Local Talent

Wednesday night brought the Republican presidential candidates (well, except for one guy you might have heard of) together for another debate. And none other than Philly born-and-raised Meet the Press host Kristen Welker was one of the moderators. Increasingly unhinged candidate Vivek Ramaswamy went after her, but Welker held her own.

Kristen Welker at the Republican presidential debate along with fellow moderator Lester Holt

Kristen Welker at the Republican presidential debate along with fellow moderator Lester Holt (Getty Images)

This isn’t Welker’s first time behind the moderators’ desk. In October 2020, she hosted the final debate between then-president Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Some media outlets called her the winner of that debate.

And on Friday, we’ll get to hear the second single from A Philly Special Christmas Special, the for-charity sequel to last year’s Christmas album featuring Eagles players. The next song up is “This Christmas,” in which glamorous Gladwynite Patti LaBelle teams up with Eagles offensive tackle Jordan Mailata. Based on this Instagram post from earlier this week, it looks like Mailata was a bit star-struck. Who wouldn’t be?

By the Numbers

30.1 percent: Approximate portion of Philadelphians registered to vote who actually did so in Tuesday’s election. That’s up about two percentage points since 2019, the last time we had a mayoral/City Council election. And about four percentage points since the one prior to that.

$19: What it will cost you to go ice skating at the rink at City Hall, which opens tomorrow, unless you own your own skates. And who in Philadelphia doesn’t own their own ice skates, right?

64: Number of Eagles tickets in the club level and suites that Philly’s own Comcast is giving away to Eagles home games, some with free parking. Note that if you want to enter the sweepstakes online (there is an enter-by-snail mail option), you have to be a Comcast customer, so those of you who have been illegally watching every show in the universe on your jailbroken FireStick for three years are out of luck.

And from the Right-On-Through Sports Desk …

Jakob Glesnes (sports hernia) and Julián Carranza (hamstring) were both out for last night’s Union playoff game against the New England Revolution, and Kai Wagner was on suspension for using racist language to Bobby Wood in the first game of the three-bout series, a 3-1 Union win. Andre Blake had a tremendous save five minutes in.

The Union seemed to be having trouble settling in, no surprise. Quinn Sullivan had a worthy shot in the 26th, but it was deflected for a corner, and Nathan Harriel banged a close miss off the post. Dániel Gazdag got stepped on good by Mark-Anthony Kaye with two minutes in the half, and the refs reviewed it and sent Kaye off on a red card, much to the New England crowd’s dismay. Wow, what a twist. Nil-nil at the half.

The second started with a hard foul committed on Harriel that didn’t earn a foul and another good stop by Blake. José Martinez earned a free kick just outside our box, but Rev goalie Earl Edwards Jr. snagged the shot. A deflected Mikail Uhre shot at 63 minutes got us another corner and a flurry of activity around — but not in — the goal. Coach Jim Curtin brought in Chris Donovan and Joaquin Torres for Uhre and Martinez in the 66th, maybe hoping to light some fire, but the Union stubbornly refused to score despite being a man up. Only another terrific save by Blake kept them from going down one. Finally, finally, Donovan scored off a free kick in the 78th. But could we hold on?

Time for several New England flurries at their goal, as they sniffed their chances dwindling. A Union breakaway led to nothing … and then came four minutes stoppage. Jeez! A great Rev chance, but they were offsides. A very slow Blake goal kick, warring headers, a Philly throw-in — wait, make that a New England throw-in. A yellow card on Carles Gil for shoving our Olivier Mbaizo, some keep-away, a whistle — and we were through. Whew. On to the semifinals against FC Cincinnati, with no date or time yet. Doop!

How’d the Sixers Do?

They got off to a good start against the Celtics last night at Wells Fargo, with Tyrese Maxey scoring off a tap from Joel Embiid on the jump. Joel landed a jam, but so did Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown — twice — and the score was tied. At the close of a slow-going first, Boston was up 27-22, and the Sixers were 0-9 from the three-point line. Brrr.

A Nic Batum three a few minutes into the second quarter brought it to 35-33 Boston, and Maxey had a dynamite block on another former Sixer, Jrue Holiday.

Seven minutes in, Kelly Oubre Jr. cleaned up a missed Joel jam but picked up a technical for griping that he’d been fouled. Still! Sixers in the lead, 41-40. A long Maxey three capped a 9-0 Sixers run; he was heating up! He hit a really long three with a minute left, but the whistle had blown for a foul against Embiid. Eh, Tyrese was pumped anyway. End of the half: 61-54 Sixers. Maxey led the team with 14 points.

The Celts got within three in the third as things got sloppy during a long stretch in which nobody scored much. Embiid finally broke the impasse, but Boston kept coming. Joel hit his first triple of the night with four minutes left in the third to make it 72-68, but nobody else on the team had scored in the quarter. Gad, things got sloppy as Kristaps Porzingis missed a dunk. A Pat Beverley floater at the buzzer took it 81-71 heading into the fourth.

That’s where it stayed for a while as Tyrese remained on fire. With 3:44 left, a Tobias Harris three stretched it to 102-87. Wow, this team might be for real. Um. Not so fast. A 10-0 Boston run, a minute left to go, a four-point game … sheesh! Embiid hit a two, a Boston time-out, a Jaylen Brown three, a three-point game with 30 seconds left, a shot-clock violation on us, eight seconds left, and holy cannoli: We held on. Final: 106-103. Makin’ it look hard.

The Nets played the Clippers, and you kind of had to love this:

Yeah, I’m going to hell.

Any College Hoops Action?

There is! The Penn Quakers stampeded the Bucknell Bison, 80-61.

All Philly Today sports coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.