Airport personnel lose passenger's gun

August 7, 2010 7:42:48 AM PDT
Big questions are arising about security after a pistol turns up missing after it was supposed to be brought here to Houston on a plane. The gun owner says he followed proper procedure, handing it over to Continental Airlines and security. But it's been almost two weeks, and it's yet to be found.

That gun owner, who lives in the Cypress area, believes he will eventually be reimbursed for his loss, but he wanted to talk to Eyewitness News to make the flying public aware of what happened. The last time he saw his gun was at the Denver airport and that was 12 days ago.

When Danny Gravois landed in Houston almost two weeks ago, he expected to drive away with the only piece of luggage he checked, especially since it wasn't just dirty laundry.

"It was a .45 semi-automatic," Gravois said.

Gravois checked in the gun in Denver. He says he dealt one-on-one with a Continental employee at the counter who watched him pack it up in an aluminum case. The case was then X-Rayed. Gravois signed a log, and his ticket was stamped.

It was the last he saw of any of it. That was July 26.

"We jump through hoops to get on a plane, and when you follow their rules, they lose a lethal weapon," he said.

Since then, he's filed a claim with Continental, filed a Houston police report and has spent a lot of time on the phone, all the while wondering about airport security.

"Do I want to fly again? That's my concern," Gravois said. "How any other people have lost firearms?"

Continental didn't answer our questions and the Transportation Security Administration told Eyewitness News that "once the firearm is screened by TSA, in front of the customer, it's out of our hands and in the hands of the airline."

"Seems very lax, like they just don't care," Gravois said.

He has given up on getting the weapon back through Continental. He believes by now, it's officially stolen but hopes it's never the wrong way.

"I would be very upset to find my weapon pointed back at me on a plane or God forbid someone use it to take down a plane," he said.

Besides the pistol, he's also missing a scope, a magazine and 22 rounds of ammunition. In total, more than $1,000 worth of items were lost, and Continental never responded to ABC13's questions.

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