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TSA confiscate firearms (courtesy

“Airport screeners established a new record last week when they stopped passengers from boarding planes with 73 firearms in carry-on luggage,” reports. Wow! Even the Rabbi wouldn’t carry 73 firearms! Anyway, “The Transportation Security Administration officials said the number was reached in the seven days ending April 21 and the haul surpassed the previous high of 68 set in October.” But wait! That’s not the half of it (apparently) . . .

After confiscating the 73 firearms, TSA carry-on screeners made a startling discovery: 68 of the weapons were loaded and more than two dozen had a round in the chamber, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported Saturday.

I’m startled too! Why would “more than” 24 gun owners carry their weapon without a round in the chamber? Is Israeli carry really that popular? That’s dangerous! Anyway, the TSA wants you to know why they’re so concerned about these gun owners, none of which were arrested on any charges involving a direct threat to anyone:

“Unfortunately, these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent, which is why we talk about these finds,” the TSA’s Bob Burns said, according to the paper.

“Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. The passenger can face a penalty as high as $11,000,” Burns said.

So the TSA is troubled because the inadvertent gun schleppers delay the smooth flow of passengers and could end up paying steep fines, not to mention – at all – the possibility of losing their gun rights forever.

And thank you Fox/TSA for highlighting a case where one miscreant didn’t have a license to carry. Oh the humanity!

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  1. Robert, I think you’re a little off-base here. That’s a lot of people who “accidentally forgot” that they had a gun on them. I don’t think that being that forgetful is a particularly good trait in someone who carries a loaded firearm in public on a regular basis.

    I mean for cripes sake, when I get into the TSA line I check my pockets for spare change and keys, and move them to my bag to speed up the screening process. Surely folks can do a quick check for a gun?

    • Not being rude (I hope) but have you ever worked with the general public? Nice folks, generally, but not firing on all cylinders most of the time. And, as others point out, when carrying a gun becomes normal, sometimes you forget you have it on you. (I often forget to reholster when returning from a gun ban location.)

      • Furthermore, the rationale behind the concealed carry movement is not that most people are competent, responsible, trained, etc. They don’t need to be, any more than someone has to pass a written exam to sign up for Twitter and exercise their 1st amendment right. State cannot prevent a free people from having the means to protect their own lives, i.e. carrying a weapon.

        Those 58 y.o. belt-buckle “There is no reason that an individual who doesn’t always know exactly where their firearm is should carry a firearm” crowd types may have a point about responsibility, but putting this sentiment into practice = May Issue, which we all know sucks.

        The tricky thing about freedom is that you can’t always control other people, and sometimes they do silly, stupid stuff.

      • I try to forget to UN holster before entering a ‘gun ban’ location myself. 😉 although I generally just avoid 2nd amendment free zones.

      • Forgetting a chambered pistol in your luggage should be an Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day post, not an anti-TSA rant.

    • I’m torn over your response. One hand I do agree about these people’s ‘gun sense’ (Wow, I actually found a good use for that term. Time to take it back!). I open carry every day, and every day I get to my college campus, park my car, and immediately take my gun out of my holster and put it in my glove box. Seeing as how I carry it everywhere else it would be easy for me to forget this step, but the consequences for doing so would be very grave. To forget you have a gun and that you can’t bring it on an airplane is a silly thing to do. On the other hand, it is an honest mistake. These people clearly had no ill intent, and people will make mistakes such as these. Why punish them for basically nothing?

      • I agree. It’s just like a pocket knife. TSA discovers those all the time. Usually they give the traveler the choice to forfeit it and continue through the checkpoint, or go do something else with it – put it in checked luggage, give it to your ride. Some checkpoints have mailing boxes for mailable contraband – and come back and go through security again.

        Why not with guns? Accidentally leave it in your carry on? No evidence of ill intent? Just go check the bag. Or how about we just allow permit holders to carry it on.

      • I don’t really want to punish them – maybe a small, non-criminal fine as a reminder and a warning – and for wasting everyone’s time.

        I just really wish there were less of it. Because dumb gun owners / carriers make us all look bad.

    • The last time I boarded an airplane, I almost lost my favorite pocket knife because I forgot that I had it on me. It’s easy to forget that you have an ordinary item with you when carrying it is simply so…ordinary. Actually, it’s not so much forgetting that you have it as it is forgetting that some places will actively try to take it away from you.

      Even the TSA knows that their single most effective function is finding people who have no ill intent and punishing them for simply possessing ordinary items.

    • I’m with you on this. These people are on auto pilot and not aware of themselves, let alone their surroundings. They’re apt to ND at some point. I just hope I’m not around when it happens.

      Then again, morons abound, and everybody screws up at some point. I’d be ok with fining these idiots a hundred bucks and sending them off to ditch their gun somewhere. Between the c-note and maybe missing their plane, they might learn their lesson.

    • Problem her is the article says the guns were in their carry on. Doesn’t say the guns were on their person. Forgetting you have it in your pocket is one thing, but why would you ever put one in a carry on?
      People here get worked up about off body carry in a purse. What good is a gun in a carry on bag in an overhead bin?

      • People need to stop bagging guns. There are rare exceptions. I bag my GLOCK 19 when I play baseball but that is my equipment bag. I don’t keep a firearm in it all the time. After the game, the gun goes back in my waist band. The other exception might be a range bag. But don’t use the range bag as carry on and there shouldn’t be a problem. I wonder how many of these people were women and the gun was in their purse. I bet $100 these guns don’t get regular range time. People who train are generally more aware.

  2. I too was thinking this is starting to sound like BuzzFeed.

    The day I read “This one strange trick to clean your gun!” I know it’s time to take a break.

    • No, in took them a full week to find the 73 firearms. Out of 512 airports the TSA ‘protects’ that served about eight million flyers in that same week.

      My calculator switches to scientific notation because of how many zeros the percentage has.

  3. We are more relaxed in FL. Some local airports will hold your weapon until you return. Not sure if they offer weapon cleaning and detailing services (at an extra charge) while you are away.

    Sanford airport police hold gun rather than arrest armed passenger stopped by TSA
    January 29, 2014

    Rather than arrest the man Friday, as is customary at the larger Orlando International Airport, cops allowed Michael Deegan to catch his flight to Ohio and held the loaded .38-caliber revolver for him while he was away

    A religious man, Deegan, 56, serves on the board of a Vero Beach food bank, He Shall Supply Ministries. Like so many other Florida concealed-weapon-permit holders, he said he simply forgot his revolver, loaded with hollow-point rounds, was in his bag until he noticed a TSA officer pointing at her X-ray screen.

    • Not to pile on – ok, to pile on a bit – so this dude was unaware that he was off-body-carrying? So I wonder where else he left his bag unattended? Around his kids or grandkids? That’s a great way to bid for an IGOOTD Award.

      Yeah, mistakes will happen, but these are a lot of mistakes. I would bet that most of the guns discovered by the TSA are in bags, not on the body. And that means that people were unaware that the bag they were carrying contained a firearm, in many cases a loaded firearm. And that is plainly irresponsible, regardless of how you feel about Team Surprise Analprobe.

  4. Next Iime my wife flys , I’m dropping a stolen .38 and bag of crack in her carry on and hope TSA is on top of their game theat day .

  5. People who want the negative attention of trying to bring a gun onto an airplane, or who aren’t aware of laws regulating firearms in secure areas of airports, or who can’t read the signs, or who are unable to interpret the pictures of a gun with an X through it, or who “forget” that they are carrying a gun – these are exactly the type of people that probably should not own guns, let alone carry them.

    That said, I do think Americans in general should be able to carry on domestic flights.

  6. So you carry something with you everyday. It is normal, natural, routine. Everywhere you go this is not a problem. What you “forgot” was the thing you do so normally everyday that isn’t a problem anywhere you go is suddenly a problem in this one place.

    Now when the nice little mall cop with the tin badge that says TSA asks you about it are you going to say ” yeah, that’s mine and I was planning on flying with it “? Which is about the same time you get arrested, fined, or both.


    When the little mall cop with the tin badge that says TSA ask are you going to say ” I forgot that was there ” as a kind of plausible deniability in the hopes of being allowed to check your firearm or otherwise not get arrested and fined?

    All these people get so upset at the “I forgot” excuse without thinking about it from a law enforcement interaction standpoint. When the cop pulls you over for speeding do you say you were doing 80 in a 50 zone? No. So why would you say anything to the TSA when they ask you besides I forgot?

  7. No. It’s not okay to forget where you packed your goddamn firearm and more than it is okay to violate one of the four basic rules of its use. In fact, I’d argue that it should probably be right up there with it– Know where your firearm is at all times. That might be a bitter pill for you to swallow but you can’t go an espouse firearm responsibility then forget what f#$@$# bag you put it in just because you want to dog the TSA. Just no.

    Sorry Farago, but you’re basically complaining about cops that forgot their pistols in the restroom stalls. You would rip them a new one- and probably have, I’m too lazy to go back and check -but as long as it’s in contrast to one of your whipping boys somebody gets a pass.

    “Well when you carry so often…” is not an excuse. It doesn’t make you a bad person, but it’s not an excuse.

  8. I hate the TSA as much as the next guy, but come on. Forgetting where you left your gun is a little more than an “honest mistake”. If a kid got a hold of one of those guns and shot themselves we’d all roll our eyes at the fool who “didn’t know it was in the bag” and this would be an IGOTD post instead. I dont think it’s too much to ask for a responsible gun owner to know exactly where all their firearms are at any given time. I know I do.


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