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Seized Gun Amounts at Airport Security Reaches a Record High

TSA agents walk on the departures level a day after a shooting that killed one Transportation Security Administration worker and injured several others at Los Angeles International Airport November 2, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The airport is almost back to normal operations a day after a man pulled an assault rifle and shot his way through security at Terminal 3, killing one Transportation Security Administration worker and wounding several others. Federal officials identified the alleged gunman as Paul Ciancia, 23, of New Jersey. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The amount of guns seized from carry-on bags at airport security in 2017 increased by five times from the amount confiscated in 2007. The scariest thing? Most of those guns are loaded, and a substantial amount was also chambered and ready to fire.

It’s official – the Transportation Security Administration seized a record amount of guns at airport security in 2017. The number increased five-fold from 10 years ago and rose by more than 500 individual weapons since 2016, the report from the TSA stated. All of the guns, 3,957 in total, were in carry-on luggage going through security checks. What’s worse is that 84 percent of those firearms were loaded, and 1,378 of them had chambered rounds. The numbers average out to about 11 weapons confiscated per day.

Guns were found at more than 230 airports across the country, but the largest amount seized came from the Atlanta (245 guns), Dallas (211 guns), and Houston (142 guns) airports.

According to the TSA though, the spike isn’t because of terrorism – it’s simply due to increases in the amount of traveling passengers.

“While it’s impossible to ascertain an exact, scientific reason for the increase, there does seem to be a correlation between the increase in the number of firearms caught and the increase in passenger volume,” TSA spokesman Mike England, a TSA spokesman, told the Washington Examiner.

And the excuses for having the guns are pretty much exactly what you’d expect: “The number-one excuse that people give us for why they have their gun with them at a checkpoint is that they forgot that they had their gun with them,” Lisa Farbstein, the TSA’s Acting Director of Media Relations, told the Washington Examiner. “The second-most common excuse is that their husband or wife packed their bag. Neither of those excuses fly.”

Guns are only allowed in hard-sided checked baggage, unloaded. Ammunition, though, can be carried on if it’s declared.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
Boggie Dog February 2, 2018

I don't contend that firearms are not a problem but what was left out of this snippet from the TSA release is needed to fully understand the scope of this issue. 771,556,886 passengers flew during the period that the 3,957 firearms were found. Do the math and anyone can see that the number of passengers found with a firearm is extremely low. TSA's checkpoint baggage x-ray systems have the ability to automatically identity threats and the shape of a firearm should be a dead give away to any screener who has their mind on the job and is not chatting with others or on their cell phone while working the checkpoint. TSA screeners still miss somewhere around 70% of threat items during Red Team testing so I don't see finding firearms to be that great of an accomplishment, just more back patting by TSA.

Dave737 February 2, 2018

you guys keep reusing this picture of these four thugs.

rthib February 1, 2018

Someone might want to actually do a little fact checking - "Ammunition is prohibited in carry-on baggage, but may be transported in checked baggage."

Always Flyin February 1, 2018

Since when can ammunition be carried on board an aircraft? The author is in error.