TSA is seeing three times as many guns compared to last year despite reduced passenger volume.
What We Know:
- Transportation Security Administration officials have discovered 15.3 weapons per million people in carry-on bags in comparison to the 5.1 weapons per million people inspected during July 2019. The rate is alarming given that TSA inspected about 75% fewer passengers in July 2020 over the previous year’s volume.
In July #TSAofficers detected guns in carry-on bags at a rate 3X higher than in 2019. In July 2019 officers detected 5.1 guns per million travelers. This July the number was 15.3 guns per million travelers. Learn how to properly travel with your firearm at https://t.co/s6SDKTlUcB pic.twitter.com/ghCcFA4mQJ
— TSA (@TSA) August 10, 2020
- The suggested civil fine for an unloaded firearm begins at $2,050 and it starts at $4,100 for a loaded gun. The penalty may go up to a maximum of more than $10,250 per fine, depending on the conditions. The complete list of sanctions is posted on the website.
- Further financial penalties for individuals who break the rules regarding traveling with firearms will have their trusted traveler status and TSA PreCheck expedited screening benefits canceled for a while. The period of the disqualification will depend upon the gravity of the offense and a repeated history of violations.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske stated that “TSA is diligently working to ensure our employees and passengers are safe and secure while traveling during a pandemic. Yet we are noticing a significant increase in loaded firearms coming into checkpoints.” He continued to say, “Travelers must understand that firearms are prohibited items at airports and in the passenger cabins of aircraft. As hard as we are working to mitigate other risks at this time, no one should be introducing new ones.”
- Last year, 4,432 firearms were found nationwide in bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 12.1 guns per day. It was about a 5% increase nationwide in firearm findings from a total of 4,239 discovered in 2018. Eighty-seven percent of the firearms found at checkpoints last year were loaded.
- Passengers are authorized to travel with firearms in a checked bag if they are correctly packaged and revealed at check-in with the airline. Firearms must be emptied, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammo. TSA has details on how to correctly travel with a gun posted on its website.
Airlines may have additional demands for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also reach their airline about firearm and ammunition carriage policies.