(USNewsMag.com) – Bringing firearms through Transportation Security Administration checks in carry-on luggage at the airports has been prohibited since the tragic 9/11 attack on our nation. This hasn’t stopped a couple of thousand people from trying to sneak through – even if unintentionally. This year the TSA has broken records previously set for the most firearms intercepted at security checkpoints.
TSA officers successfully discovered more than 6,000 firearms at airport security checkpoints; some loaded with ammunition. Even if state gun laws are laxer, firearms are prohibited from being in carry-on luggage by federal law. Adding fuel to the fire is the variation in penalties, especially in states with stricter laws., In New York, for example, they not only have the right to have not only your guns confiscated but to have you arrested.
On @NBCNightlyNews , .@TSA reports a record number of gun confiscations at airports nation-wide – expecting 660 by yr end, up 10% over last yr. Most psgrs say they "forgot". TSA now increasing fines, up to $15k. A gun in raw chicken? Exclusive with TSA Chief @TSA_Pekoske
— Tom Costello (@tomcostellonbc) December 16, 2022
Fines for these types of violations have increased, hovering around $14,950 for repeat offenders. First-timers may see fines of around $1,500, but the fine jumps to $3,000 if the gun is loaded. The federal agency has successfully collected more than $52 million in fines from similar discoveries over the last three years, according to Forbes.
In many cases, the individuals in question do not appear to have terrible intentions. In some areas, responsible gun owners are so accustomed to carrying for self-defense in most states at all times, that it becomes second nature, creating a situation in which they don’t even think about removing their firearms before they enter an airport. Several experts argue that the rise in gun apprehensions at airport checkpoints is due to the relaxation of gun policies in some states. People are finding confidence in traveling again after mostly staying home so long after lockdowns.
If you were thinking about traveling for the holidays and are a gun owner yourself, it is important to note that traveling with a firearm is not illegal. You can travel with your firearms, but only if you declare them with the airline prior to boarding and have them unloaded and packed correctly in checked luggage. No passengers, with the exception of on-duty traveling law enforcement officers, are not allowed to bring their firearms into the cabin.
The reality is that while 6,000 firearm apprehensions in one year may sound like a lot, TSA checkpoint data shows more than 2 million people travel each day. It’s not necessarily statistically insignificant, but it also isn’t cause for alarm – especially when most instances amount to simply costly mistakes. It also means that TSA is fulfilling its job successfully.
Vianca Rodriguez, Independent Political Analyst
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