People Are Traveling Less, But TSA Finds More Guns in Carry-on Baggage

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TSA Finds More Guns in Carry-on Baggage

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?

Based in NYC. Points/miles enthusiast for years and actively writing about it for the last two years at Danny the Deal Guru. I'm always looking out for deals. Making a few bucks is always nice, but the traveling is by far the best part of this business.

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  1. With BLM protests destroying parts of cities and threatening the lives of so many people, peaceful citizens are carrying handguns with them in their sports bag/work bag more and more. A few will obviously forget to remove them when they go to the airport with a bag they use 5 days a week in their daily lives. The type of people who mistakenly don’t remove their handguns from their daily bag aren’t the people we need to worry about. It’s the thugs polluting our cities and now encroaching into the suburbs. A legitimate, constitutional, and fair policy would be for people who are detected to have guns in their carry on to be denied entry into the gate and made to return home.

    It’s also true TSA has more time to focus on X-ray screening as there are fewer passengers.

  2. So once-a-year fliers think that loaded guns are okay? It’s probably because it’s actually not that illegal.

    “Fines could be…” Please. Violators get a stern talking to and may miss their flight, that’s about it. Until there is a threat of an actual severe penalty or somebody gets through and hijacks a plane, it’s not really a serious issue.

  3. @ DDG — Hopefully this is a result of TSA having more time to screen each passenger. It could also be due to the fact that most travelers right now are the “once a year” types. These are the travelers less likely to know the rules and more likely to carry guns.


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