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TSA: Record Number of Guns in Carry-Ons Last Week

SmarterTravel

The TSA says it found a record number of guns in carry-on bags last week, August 12-18. The total number of confiscated firearms was 81. An alarming 70 of those guns were loaded, and 31 had a round chambered.

The previous record was 78, and it was set … the prior week.

It should go without saying, though apparently it doesn’t go without saying, that firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags. And since we seem to need a refresher, here are some basic pointers for those looking to travel with their weapons, verbatim from the TSA:

  • You may transport unloaded firearms in a locked hard-sided container as checked baggage only.
  • Declare the firearm and/or ammunition to the airline when checking your bag at the ticket counter.
  • The container must completely secure the firearm from being accessed.
  • Locked cases that can be easily opened are not permitted.

Note how it does not say you can bring firearms in your carry-on bag. Repeat: You cannot bring firearms in your carry-on bag.

In addition to the obvious security threat a loaded weapon in a carry-on bag could pose, the TSA points out that there other consequences as well, including slowed-down security lines and hefty fines for offenders. “Each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested,” the TSA says on its blog. “The passenger can face a penalty as high as $11,000.”

It also points out that “just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions; that’s for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items.”

(Really? People “simply forgot” there was a loaded weapon in their carry-on bag? That they were bringing on a plane? Really?)

Readers, what’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen confiscated at a security checkpoint? Have you ever forgotten you had something in your carry-on bag that shouldn’t have been there?

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