People Are Traveling Less, But TSA Finds More Guns in Carry-on Baggage
Air travel has been far from normal this year. As the coronavirus started spreading around the country back in March, airlines saw a huge dip in travel demand. At the lowest points, travel was down by as much as 96% compared to last year. Recently travel demand has picked up, but it is still a far cry from 2019 levels. The latest numbers show that the number of people passing through TSA checkpoints, is 75% less than a year ago.
While people are traveling less, something strange is happening. TSA is discovering three times the rate of guns it did last year. The Transportation Security Administration said this week that it found 300 guns in carry-on baggage nationwide in July. That is about 15.3 guns per million people screened, and up from the rate of 5.1 guns per million people in July 2019, CNN reports. Additionally, TSA said that about 80% of the firearms found in carry-on bags were loaded. Fines could be high as $2,050 for an unloaded weapon and $4,100 for a loaded one.
These numbers do not include properly declared and packed firearms. Having a firearm with you while flying is not illegal. However, firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container as checked baggage only. The firearm and/or ammunition must be declared to the airline when checking your bag at the ticket counter. The container must completely secure the firearm from being accessed.
Are people are just carrying more firearms now than ever before, or the TSA is just doing its jobs better? What do you think?