Pro tip: You need to be licensed by the State of New York if you're in possession of a handgun. Just another way the guv'ment CONTROLS real patriots like Mark Meckler, a lawyer from California who is an influential Tea Party leader. Meckler has a gun permit in California, but unfortunately for him, LaGuardia Airport is in Queens, New York. And so when he went up to the Delta Airlines ticketing agent yesterday and tried to check his semi-automatic handgun and ammunition, that raised a red flag. See, this is why the federal government should just take over gun licensing and make gun owners buy a nationwide permit!

A Port Authority spokesman Meckler "told authorities that he had the pistol because he gets threats," the Times reports. The Post, meanwhile, goes with the winning headline "Tea Big Bagged For Gun At LaG," and says that Meckler did not research New York laws beforehand. He approached the ticket agent with the 9mm Glock in a locked box, and was carrying two clips for the gun that were filled with 19 rounds of ammunition.

The agent immediately alerted the police, and Meckler was arrested without incident, looking like a coward who does everything the government orders him to do instead of a big hero who goes out in blaze of gunfire for liberty. A Port Authority spokesman tells the Times that the gun wasn't loaded but "it just as well may have been, as the ammo was right there, accessible... Unfortunately for Mr. Meckler, he thought he was good to go because he has a carry permit in California, but that does not cover New York. Folks who want to carry a firearm on a flight have to do their homework." (This "homework" should preferably be done at one of those taxpayer-funded "schools.")

Meckler was charged with possession of a concealed weapon in the second degree, and later released on his own recognizance.