It is not a difficult concept, the notion that firearms are not allowed and cannot be in carry-on bags on planes. Yet, the Transportation Security Administration, also known as TSA, announced that more weapons were seized last year than ever. A total of 2,212 firearms were found in passengers’ luggage. A majority of these weapons were loaded.
To bring a side arm to many airports is fine; just as long as the passenger takes the right course of action. First, check if the airline even allows firearms in the airport and then pack the gun properly. To pack a gun properly in the most simple way; have a hard gun case, take the clip out of the gun, make sure the gun is not loaded and place all of the items in the case properly. Most importantly, do this all beforehand. Next, bring the case to airline ticket counter and declare it. Allow TSA inspect it, and then proceed to lock it. Someone will check the gun, and away it goes with all of the other luggage.
A person’s failure to inform TSA of their firearm or pack it properly can result in an $11,000 fine, and/or lead to the individuals arrest. Really, the situation is tricky all over. Even when packing the firearm correctly and notifying the TSA of a firearm, trouble could still arise. Most individuals have licenses to carry a gun but not in the state that he or she is flying to.
The airport that took the prize as far as most people with guns confiscated was Dallas Fort Worth Airport in Texas, with officials having discovered 120 cases of weapons that were subsequently confiscated. This was followed by the runner up, Atlanta International Airport, with 109 cases. The rule that firearms cannot be in carry-on bags clearly went unheeded by an inordinate amount of people, despite the seriousness of the offense.
This is not all on purpose, for the most part. Many people reportedly use the excuse “I forgot” or “My spouse packed the bag”, as expressed by TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein. The problem again is that many of these weapons are loaded, “many” meaning 80 percent. What is even more dangerous is when people try to bring grenades. It would seem obvious not to bring a grenade or two on an airplane but these grenades are inert and souvenirs. Regardless of their inertness or value, however, they are indeed prohibited.
To bring firearms in carry on luggage may seem hard to do accidentally; but for people that carry firearms on a daily basis, it is understandable why someone would make a mistake. Not all passengers are as honest in this way, however. In one of the more extreme cases, a passenger hid a firearm in an enchilada. This would be much more difficult to see as an accident, with the signs seemingly pointing at it not being one.
What the TSA is mainly worried about is safety for everyone, and that means not taking any chances. Live ammunition means that there is a round in the chamber of the gun, and this is taking a chance. Regardless if all of the precautions are met from case to disassembling, if the gun is loaded then TSA confiscates all of the ammunition. This is viewed as a favor because seizing of all of the ammunition is the minimum that can happen. The transportation safety administration does not allow live ammunition because it is dangerous; firearms cannot be in carry on luggage, because safety is key.
By Jacob Dowd
Photo by zombieite – Flickr License