December 28, 2009

Another TSA Security Goof? Air Marshal Officials Blast Release of Sig Sauer Pistol Info

ABC News reported that with the approval of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Sig Sauer gun company has released specific information about the model of pistol that Federal Air Marshals will soon be carrying, data that both current and former Air Marshals say puts the Marshals and air passengers at risk.

"This is the last thing you want to give to anyone who wants to carry out an act of terror," said Frank Terreri, president of the Federal Air Marshal Agency, a trade group representing the Marshals. "Anyone who wants to take over a can be proactive and research that type of weapon, basically know everything about that weapon before going on the plane," said Terreri. "You really don't want to give that playbook out to your enemy."

John Adler, president of the National Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which represents officers from more than 65 federal agencies, including the Federal Air Marshal Service, said the gun information was part of "an alarming pattern of disclosures" by the TSA that only serves to jeopardize the safety of the [Air Marshals]."

The Sig Sauer P250 Compact

The disclosure comes on the heels of a massive security breach in which the TSA published online an improperly redacted manual that revealed sensitive information about air passenger screening.

The Sig Sauer company announced via press release that it had signed a multimillion dollar contract to equip the Air Marshals with its .357 SIG caliber P250 Compact pistol.

Bud Fini, vice president for marketing at Sig Sauer, defended the decision to publicize the deal. Fini said the release that he sent out was approved by the Air Marshals. "They changed it slightly, but there was no sensitive information in it," said Fini. "I don't think it's that big of a deal."

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Comments (23)

@Sur5er - we will never adopt the tactic of summary execution in the USA, because the sheeple somehow think that everyone, everywhere should have the same rights under the US Constitution as do the citizens of this nation. It is a damnfool notion, but it exists nevertheless. Too many people seem to believe that "stooping to the tactics" of the Taliban, et. al. makes us no better than them. This represents seriously flawed thinking. We have been placed in a situation where there is no moral choice, and therefore the criterion for making a choice how to handle this enemy should be changed from what is the most moral to what will enable us to survive.

Not long after the September 11th attacks, OBL was quoted as having said that the US "lacks the stomach" for this sort of warfare. Alas, he is correct.

Posted by: StanM | January 21, 2010 11:48 AM    Report this comment

......"Frank Terreri, president of the Federal Air Marshal Agency, a trade group representing the Marshals".......

What exactly does a "trade group" do for Federal Employees?

Playbook? Proactive? So far all the attemps have gotten by the screening process. I'd say they already knew the playbook! In my opinion, letting the fact that the Air Marshals are carrying a .357 Sig, in whatever version, is as useful, to a trained terrorist, as udders on a bull! The only way you stop this is to start treating these terrorists as terrorists. When an individual is captured in wartime spying, commiting an act of sabotage, or wearing civilian clothes behind lines, he/she/they are subject to summary execution IAW Geneva/Hague Conv and the Law of Land Warfare.

Stop playing paddycakes and manufacturing rights that get Americans soldiers/LEOs hurt and killed. Recidivism isn't an option when dealing with fanatics!

Posted by: Sur5er | January 21, 2010 11:33 AM    Report this comment

I view snipers as cowards. It takes skill and bravery to move in close and take out the enemy with your bare hands.

I wouldn't call anyone who goes into combat with a bolt-action rifle a coward. You were born about 500 years too late, Jeff. Do you have any Viking ancestors?


Posted by: Lee W | January 16, 2010 5:31 PM    Report this comment

Jeff, I would rather be a live coward than a dead hero. Beside which I am too old, weak, unccoordinated and too brittle of bone for up-close-and-personal encounters. But to each his own.

Posted by: StanM | January 15, 2010 4:05 PM    Report this comment

I view snipers as cowards. It takes skill and bravery to move in close and take out the enemy with your bare hands. I would welcome the opportunity to introduce myself to a Radical Islamist Terrorist as the Gate Keeper to Allah prior to facilitating the cross-over.

Posted by: JWallace | January 15, 2010 9:44 AM    Report this comment

Stan M,
What usually gets this forum full steam ahead are blanket glittering generalities aimed at furthering the Liberal anti-gun agenda. Our group for the most part are Leos,Soldiers,Teachers,Firemen, etc. They are for the most part(and I say this sincerely) educated and well intentioned.Most of us have a strong belief that the 2nd Amendment and are God given right to own and carry firearms are there to protect our home and families from those that would do us harm.We are not criminals because we carry concealed weapons nor are we zealots. We just feel comfortable in our own skin and don't mind expressing opposing viewpoints on the subjects in thses forums. The more the merrier.I'm sure you have many original thoughts to add. Welcome Semper Fi

Posted by: Sharps | January 2, 2010 11:56 AM    Report this comment

I believe all passengers should have to fly naked from now on with no carry on baggage, that should eliminate all terrorists except for the people who would die laughing.

If we turned the US into a giant nudist colony we would all have to open carry as our concealed carry permits would be rendered obsolete!

Posted by: Pointman | January 1, 2010 8:03 PM    Report this comment

Welcome to GunReports, Stan. I have found it to be an excellent forum, well-moderated and filled with all kinds of intelligent and interesting people.

I have to admit that it wouldn't matter to me if I had Level IV body armor on, complete with ceramic plates, if someone were shooting at me I'd be terrified and looking for a really deep hole to crawl into. I have no idea how a fanatical jihadist would react. I do know from my experience with paintball that it's extraordinarily difficult to hit a moving target in the head at 20 feet, even with restricted movement and limited cover. Hips & torso, much easier, but I'm told that successful head shots are usually a matter for skilled snipers who have a long time to set up their shots.

I pray God I never have to find out personally how hard it is to bring down a radical Islamist terroist with a handgun. I would SO much prefer to use my FAL or PTR91 at 100 meters.


Posted by: Lee W | January 1, 2010 7:13 PM    Report this comment

Hi,StanM.....Welcome to this forum. We sometimes do get carried away with argument for the sake of argument, but the regular posters generally are pretty courteous toward each other. Every now, and again, some new type enters the discussion. While we do welcome new ideas and thoughts, we do discourage insults and name calling. A really good case in point is between me and Gaviota. Some time back.....during the elections, he and I engaged in spirited debate concerning our particular points of view. The ultimate result was a gentlemanly accommodation of each other's view. I believe I can speak for both of us when I say that we respect each other's thoughts and posts, and a firm alliance has been formed wherein we both maintain our focus on the same objective.....preservation of our Second Amendment rights, along with other traditionally conservative stands. Again, welcome aboard.

Posted by: canovack | January 1, 2010 7:02 PM    Report this comment

@Gaviota - I am new to this forum, but have been exchanging views since the days of dial-in bulletin boards. Every group has its own etiquette and cultural peculiarities, and I am happy to know that personal insult is not part of the mix here.

Regarding the TSA people, I think everyone here would probably agree that they are merely window dressing. But again, how useful is body armor at 10 to 20 feet when there is not much available cover?

Posted by: StanM | January 1, 2010 6:26 PM    Report this comment

Stan: Yes, I most emphatically do believe that the undertrained, underpaid, unmotivated high-school drop-out working at the scanner late at night or in the early am while unsupervised could easily miss a passenger wearing body armor, and anything else that doesn't set off flashing red strobelights and klaxons.

As for the civility issue, I'm a little surprised that the obvious troll who commented on using a sawn-off rifle as a carry weapon drew a response. Everybody is an experienced blogger here, and we all know you don't feed the trolls.


Posted by: Lee W | January 1, 2010 6:08 PM    Report this comment

At the risk of sounding like I am paraphrasing Rodney King, could we please keep things civil here, at least amongst us gun nuts? I don't think there is any reason in this particular forum to waste effort on arguments over who has the smallest brain or the biggest testicles...

More closely related to the subject, does anyone think the TSA crew could miss the fact that someone was wearing soft body armor? And FWIW at the kind of close range provided inside an airliner, even Type IV equipment leaves a lot of vulnerable spots unprotected. (The head, for starters...)

Posted by: StanM | January 1, 2010 11:07 AM    Report this comment

I stand by what i said anyone who saws off a 30.06 for a carry weapon ain,t to need to cry,

Posted by: aztimberwolf | December 31, 2009 8:32 PM    Report this comment

Az Timberwolf,
Since your gluteous maximus has NO BRAIN, I believe YOURS is dumb as well.

Posted by: Sharps | December 31, 2009 7:55 PM    Report this comment

Oh Hell! Here we go with the name calling again. Why is it that the least fluent speakers and writers so often resort to calling names? Anyway.....When one considers the type of soft armor likely to be worn by a bad guy who has successfully gotten through the TSA checkpoints, I still contend that a high performance round can have a telling effect on the body inside the armor. Dumbass, or not, son, there is still no need to call names.

Posted by: canovack | December 31, 2009 7:43 PM    Report this comment

I like my glock 32 and any decent bodyarmour will stop it,(MICHAEL) don't be a dumbass.

Posted by: aztimberwolf | December 31, 2009 5:13 PM    Report this comment

I'm baffled as to how knowing the make and model of firearm would give an advantage to a terrorist. In the remote scenario where an attacker was able to disarm an Air Marshal, there might be a two-second edge if the attacker knew where to find the safety and magazine release, but that's it.

As far as the dress code is concerned, the problem is not that the air marshals are easily identifiable. Hell, you want to know who they are, in case you see another passenger doing something goofy, like stabbing himself in the groin with a hypodermic. The problem is that there are not, and apparently never will be, armed people on each and every flight. But for all I care they could be wearing snap-front shirts, Dan Post boots and Stetsons.

Posted by: StanM | December 31, 2009 4:42 PM    Report this comment

I use a handheld 30-06 sawed off rifle as my carry weapon

Posted by: MICHAEL H | December 31, 2009 11:43 AM    Report this comment

I agree with Gaviota, that the Air Marshals' dress code is too much of a give-away. They should take a clue from most municipal police agencies, whose undercover operatives dress, look, and act like the thugs they are infiltrating. The Air Marshals don't have to look like thugs, but they should present an appearance that permits them to blend in with the passengers. As far as the revelation that the Air Marshals are being issued SIG Sauer P250s in caliber .357 SIG, I don't think that's such a big deal either. Back when the Air Marshal Service was first established, it was well publicized that the marshals would be carrying Charter Arms Bulldogs in .44 Spl. The idea was that the .44 Spl. was viewed as a fairly good stopper that would not penetrate the fuselage of an aircraft, thus avoiding a catastrophic decompression at cruising altitude. Since that fear has been essentially debunked, it might make sense to let the bad guys know that they will be up against a pretty hot, high performance round (.357 SIG) that is capable of perforating any sort of soft armor the bad guys might be wearing. I presently own four pistols chambered in .357 SIG, and I love the round.

Posted by: canovack | December 31, 2009 11:22 AM    Report this comment

Nothing more than an endorsement of the Sig by the Air Marshals? When will the media quit treating all their knowledge as printable? Have they no wits? Are they not on the same page as other patriotic Americans? What's next? Sixty minutes doing a piece on the new TSA technology in security checks at the airport?. Give us a break. They print it because they CAN.

Posted by: Sharps | December 31, 2009 10:37 AM    Report this comment

There's less than a dozen commonly issued pistols for LEO's. I mean, if it wasn't the p250, it would be a p228/229, a Glock, an M&P, Beretta, something on a very short list. How hard would it be to know all about each one of these? Not very.

Posted by: KCSHOOTER | December 31, 2009 10:07 AM    Report this comment

Oh, please. This is as much an OPSEC violation as someone learning our military uses M16s.

Posted by: BLAKE S | December 31, 2009 10:05 AM    Report this comment

"You really don't want to give that playbook out to your enemy."

But you force your Air Marshals to dress like 1950's era FBI boys, with buzz haircuts, black suits and white shirts, so that even 13 year old boys boarding the plane wave to them and yell "Howdy, Marshal!" You freaking idiots. If I worked for a boss that treated my life and safety that way, I'd wing my badge across the desk at him as hard as possible, and say something elegant like: "F*** off and die, b****. I f****** quit."

Bud Fini, vice president for marketing at Sig Sauer, ... said the release that he sent out was approved by the Air Marshals. "They changed it slightly, but there was no sensitive information in it," said Fini. "I don't think it's that big of a deal."

You're right, Bud. It's not a big deal. Like every single government organization on the planet, the Air Marshals service is has a bunch of dedicated, competent, and intelligent people working hard to do a good job, led by ignorant, arrogant political hacks who do nothing but F*** things up. Poor bastiges.


Posted by: Lee W | December 29, 2009 5:56 PM    Report this comment

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