TSA confiscated firearms (courtesy latimes.com)
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Many members of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia ain’t got time for gun owners who forget to remove their firearms from their briefcase or luggage before stepping up to the security theater known as a TSA checkpoint. Others — like our forgetful publisher — can understand how such a thing can happen. And it happened a lot last year. 2017 was a record year for TSA firearms confiscation . . .

The TSA confiscated 3,957 firearms nationwide in 2017. As this taxpayer-funded graphic reveals:

Notice the steady increase from 2005.

The TSA gives no explanation for this uptick; they’re not trumpeting their agents’ increased training or diligence. Probably because no one would believe them. It’s more likely that gun law liberalization has increased the absolute number of Americans packing heat — with no impact on the percentage of forgetful firearms owning airline passengers.

The TSA may impose civil penalties of up to $13,066 per violation per person for prohibited items violations and violations of other TSA regulations. Repeat violations result in higher penalties. But they don’t arrest people for forgotten firearms.

After the TSA officer discovers a firearm, they contact local law enforcement. It is they who decides whether to arrest the offending passenger, based on a background check, interview, local laws and gun culture.

When you fly, check you bags for guns and ammo. Click  here for the TSA’s take on travelling with your firearms. Remember: rules vary by airline, state and locality. If you’re diverted to a slave state (e.g., New York of New Jersey), DO NOT TOUCH YOUR CASE.

Have you ever found a gun you’d forgotten about?

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  1. Found a gun I’d forgotten about? No, but I’ve had to hunt down ones I’ve forgotten the location of…

    Also, don’t touch your case… likely sound legal advice but what does the airline do with the unclaimed item(s) in a state like NY or NJ?

    • “what does the airline do with the unclaimed item(s) in a state like NY or NJ?” Who cares, it’s the airline’s problem.

        • The problem becomes *critical* if your guns were registered in a slave state. In a free state with no registration, I’d be tempted to abandon the suitcase if I were laywaye’d in NYC’s LaGuardia airport, for example…

        • Depends on what’s in it. If it’s just a couple pistols I might be tempted.

          If it’s a rifle case with my $3000 AR build, suppressors and my $4000 long range rifle to boot… yeah, I ain’t walking away from that. I’ll cut throats (literally) to get that back. I’m not paying to replace the rifles and I sure as shit ain’t explaining to the ATF how I lost NFA gear to an airline/State laws because of being sent to a State I didn’t even want to be in due to a storm.

          In that case I’ll take the case, and my chances, grab a rental car and drive out of that shithole state.

        • If you leave your gun case on the carousel it will be placed in the baggage claim office for that airline
          If the gun bag was not placed on the carousel and was to be picked up at the baggage claim office and you don’t pick it up they will leave it there for 24 hours
          So leave it there, go to a hotel and come back and catch the next flight out the next day
          The next day you go to the baggage claim office and reclaim your gun bag
          The baggage claim people will be able to get your bag onto the outgoing flight
          As long as the gun stays in the secure area of the airport locked and unloaded, you’re not in violation of New Jersey’s gun possession laws
          What has gotten people arrested is claiming the gun and taking it out of the airport and to the hotel in these slave states

  2. Need #1: reciprocity. No more excuses. We need it and must demand it and fire anyone who disagrees.
    Need #2: decriminalize “forgetting ” you have a gun. It’s bone-headed, yes, but there is little practical need to ruin someone’s life over what should be a trivial oversight. No one got hurt. There was no ill intent. Just tell the bonehead to either lose their place in line to deal with their gun or offer them a rented lockable case (for a not too cheap price) so they can keep their place in line.
    Problem solved.

      • How about we take it all the way. Legalize carrying on flights. The right to keep and bear arms doesn’t stop at the airports.

    • “Problem solved.” Ahhh…..to have that child-like naiveté again.

      We’ve had the federal Firearms Owners Protection Act for more than three decades. Yet, people still get arrested while travelling through slave states, despite following and being protected by federal law.

      Even in THIS article, we’re strongly warned about even making contact with your checked firearm’s bag in the unfortunate event your flight is diverted to a slave state. Why? You have FOPA. I’m sure can explain the situation to the local guido with a badge and everyone will just have a hearty laugh before you’re sent without further delay upon your way.

      For crying out loud, half the country and its appointed and elected leaders routinely disregard the Second Amendment.

      And you come along waving your cute little national reciprocity bill, if President “Don’t like my pace on firearms freedom legislation? Then go vote for Hillary!” Trump ever gets it passed, like it will mean anything.

      All that bill is going to to is embolden a bunch of people to abide by it, then run straight into states that ignore it. In the meantime, the Dems will have screwed you out of freedoms you already possess, in the name of compromise, to get the bill passed.

      Say goodbye to 30 rd mags; say hello to universal background checks. In return, you’ll get National Fast Track To A Slave State Jail, er, I mean, Reciprocity.

      Gooood luck.
      # MarcoFromTropaja

    • A person “forgetting” where their gun is just about as defensible as forgetting what’s behind your target. We are talking lethal tools and you deserve every repercussion afforded to you.

    • In Denver, only 1 person was charged in 2017 of 106 caught with guns by TSA. Only two were taken into custody, one of whom it is almost certain that the reason is that she is a (R) state legislator and immediately lawyered up. Your mileage may vary, but it appears that telling the cops “Yes, it’s mine. No, I didn’t know it was in my bag. I am very sorry” may be a good strategy. The law calls for intent, not just neglige – er, “extreme carelessness.” And if you’re not charged, you get the gun back.

  3. That is 3,957 gun owners who need to stop owning guns. I can understand an errant round or two or magazine, but if you can’t be responsible enough to make FN sure you’re not taking a gun through the way too long line I have to stand in behind you then FU. Take some responsibility folks and man up.

  4. I am not sure I believe the TSA numbers. Why? There is political motivation to fraudulently increase the number to perpetuate the anti-gun agenda. Another example, many police departments will adjust the numbers they report to the FBI for use in their Uniform Crime Report. If the department wants more money to help reduce crime they will inflate. If a department wants to show their criminal justice reforms are working, they will deflate their numbers.

    My point, its all BS folks and its bad for ya. Statistics in the era of everything being politicized are to be taken with a gigantic grain of salt. Based on this statistic, I wonder how much the TSA will increase?

  5. Well since the TSA has a 90% failure rate of detecting weapons that means 391,743 guns got through. Why isn’t that being discussed?

  6. 1. Don’t use your range bag as your airline carry-on bag.

    2. Don’t use your airline carry-on bag as your range bag.

    Those two rules alone will eliminate many (if not all) airport confiscation incidents, especially the ones where TSA tosses someone in a room for hours because there was a stray .22LR round rattling around the bottom of their carry-on.

    I use a backpack as my range bag. I got a second pack for my carry-on after I found a single loose round in the bottom of my pack. Fortunately, I was at home and not at the airport when I found that pesky little stowaway. In any case, finding a round in my carry-on is never going to happen again.

  7. What one of the posters said: take case go to the nearest rental car counter and finish the trip no matter how expensive or far to drive. GTF out of NY or NJ ASAP.

    Redeem the remaining part of your ticket later.

    This is why we have credit cards.

    • No. If you touch or attempt to retrieve your firearm in NY/NJ you are fkd. Do not take it and run. My advice? Watch it go round and round on the carousel while you call your lawyer for REAL legal advice.

  8. You left out the most interesting part of the TSA report
    Of the loaded guns, 35% had an empty chamber
    That means that 65% of negligent gun owners favor “Israeli carry”!

  9. Forgot my weapon!!!! You have got to be shitting me.They need their ass PT’d until they puke, that is inexcusable absolutely fuckin inexcusable.

  10. IT HAPPENED TO ME !!!! I had a ‘toe-nail clipper’ in my carry-on, WHO KNOWS what it could have have forced me to do! Thanks TSA.

  11. So, the TSA is celebrating taking a record number of non-criminals’ property (with extra anxiety and delay) without due process, on top of their now standard friction added to travel and commerce.

    It’s like making everything work worse is the point. Oh, wait…

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