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?