TSA found over 4,600 rifles, some loaded, in 2022

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent checks carry-on baggage at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, on August 10, 2022.

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent checks carry-on baggage at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, on August 10, 2022.
picture: Patrick Ty Fallon/AFP (Getty Images)

Despite strict rules about everything from how much liquid you can carry to how much you can expose your face, passengers still break the most basic of flying rules: Don’t bring loaded firearms through security. This year is on its way to being the worst year for guns at the airport No. has been on the rise for a decade.

The agency reported a five percent increase in the number of weapons found by customers from 2018 to 2019. In 2020, the TSA broke a 19-year period. Recorded with 4,432 firearms seized from passengers or their carry-on baggage, despite a 25 per cent drop in air travel due to the pandemic. last year It was no better, as more than 5700 . were found With travel recovery to pre-pandemic levels.

Now it’s only mid-September, and we’re within sight of last year’s seizure rate of more than 4,600 87 percent of it was uploaded at the time. This is not just an increase in seized weapons, but five Percentage increase in live weapons coming through security. The problem is particularly bad at the busy Atlanta International Airport, which tops the list of airports finding weapons at 507 guns found in 2022. That’s 2.5 guns found per day so far this year.

When a gun Loaded or unloaded, neither of which can be brought through security It is found, the checkpoint officers do not seize the weapon. TSA officers They are not really law enforcement. When a gun is found in the carry-In the bag, they call some real cops. It gets even worse for the strapped passenger from there. From The New York Times:

“Entering a checkpoint with a firearm, especially if it is loaded, is an expensive mistake,” said Carter Langston, a TSA spokesperson.

When a gun is found at a checkpoint, the TSA does not seize it. Instead, agents are required to contact law enforcement to deal with the situation. There is no federal criminal penalty for passengers caught with a gun at a checkpoint, but the TSA can impose a fine of up to about $14,000 and forfeit their PreCheck membership—which allows for a quick security check—for up to five years.

Possible criminal charges, if any, vary by state. In Texas, law enforcement officials often tell travelers to get off the line, lock their weapons in their cars and return to try to catch their flights. However, in New York, the discovery of a handgun at a checkpoint will likely end up with handcuffed passengers.

The severity of any criminal charges can also vary based on whether the person has a permit to carry a concealed weapon. In Florida, for example, a person with a concealed carry permit who is stopped at an airport checkpoint can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. A passenger without one could face a felony for carrying a concealed weapon.

So, Keep these guns in your checked baggage, and my firearm-carrying friends. It should also be emptied and sealed in a hard bag too (but not in very good condition Locked, impossible to accessClear as TSA mud) and you should tell the airline you’re transporting the gun before checking your bag.

Or leave them at home! Flying is already stressful enough. I don’t know about you, but I start flipping internally in the safety line if someone forgot to take off their shoes or put a laptop in the trash with other things. It was the notch around a loaded gun that would send me to the dentist on droopy teeth and a stiff tongue.

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