TSA Set to Confiscate 4000 Firearms from Travelers in 2017

TSA agent (courtesy thevaticantimes.com)

“The Transportation Security Administration on its blog publishes a weekly tally of weapons found,” latimes.com reports. “As of Christmas Eve, 3,888 firearms had been discovered on passengers at U.S. airport checkpoints for the year.” If so, that’ll be up  nearly 15 percent over 2016. Despite the Times’ shock horror, and the obvious indication of ongoing gun owner irresponsibility, I take it as a good sign . . .

I highly doubt that the average intelligence of the average American has increased — I mean decreased — in the last 12 months. I’m equally skeptical that the TSA’s blue-shirted buffoons have become better at intercepting firearms at their “show us your papers” chokepoints. And airline passenger traffic isn’t up significantly this year.

So the double-digit rise in confiscations must reflect the increasing number of [otherwise] law-abiding Americans packing heat.

Yay! But as heartening as this stat is, it represents a slackening of the three-year pace . “At the end of 2016, the TSA reported it has taken 3,391 firearms from passengers, a 28% increase from the previous year,” the Times reports.

While we’re doing the math thing, U.S. airports accommodated some 832 million “enplanements” in 2016. Which means that one out of every 245,355.352 airline passengers experience the thrill of talking TSA agents about firearms and their defective memory. Don’t be that guy!


  1. avatar Sam I Am says:

    C’mon guys. Do this many people really “forget” they are carrying a gun in a travel bag? Does “forgetting” qualify each of them as “Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day”?

    1. avatar Kyle says:

      Consider the volume of air travelers yearly id go with..

      Probably Not

    2. avatar Jacob says:

      Apparently so, Mr. Perfect.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Perfect? Or fastidious?

        We’ve had this subject come up before. What kind of person uses a bag for carrying guns from here to there, then uses that same bag to go to an airport where it is patently obvious the bag will be checked for contraband?

        I have one bag for my plinker and ammunition. One bag, purpose bought, that serves a single function. Is that “perfect”? Is that “odd”? Is that “paranoid”? Is that unreasonable? Or is that knowing what you are doing?

        Strong opinion – a person who cannot remember they have a gun in a bag is irresponsible. Strong opinion – a person who “forgets” they are carrying a concealed handgun is irresponsible. Strong opinion – a person who is at home with children, and puts a gun in plain view while leaving the scene to go to the icebox is irresponsible.

        Why would you want to give a pass to someone who is unaware they have a firearm on their body, or in a bag?

        1. avatar binder says:

          If you can’t “forget” you are carrying a gun, you need a better carry system.

        2. avatar Big Bill says:

          “If you can’t “forget” you are carrying a gun, you need a better carry system.”

          If you forget you are carrying, then carrying is of no use.

        3. avatar binder says:

          Oh, don’t worry. When you need it, you will remember where it is. Hopefully on your waist.

        4. avatar Red in CO says:

          Pretty sure TTaG has written about this before, though focusing more on potential loose ammo or shells. The TSA will probably (PROBABLY) catch a forgotten firearm. But you certainly don’t want them to miss a single loose round or even spent shell casing and then have the cops in England or Australia or Germany or China (why you would travel to any of those shit holes, I don’t know) find it.

    3. avatar Muhammad says:

      Yes, we occasionally forget. Especially if you ever bring your truck gun Or carry gun into your hotel room, and then use the same bag to get on a plane with.

      I travel a lot, (over 2 million frequent flier miles) and am also forgetful. My solution is to never put my gun in the suitcase I use as a carry-on.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “My solution is to never put my gun in the suitcase I use as a carry-on.”

        Why was that so hard for thousands of air travelers?

      2. avatar Southern Cross says:

        To quote Jeremy Clarkson:

        How hard can it be?

  2. avatar Chris says:

    A gun that I paid $600 for, keep loaded and take to the range..How in the world am I not going to remember that I packed it in my carry-on bag? Idiots. We are surrounded by idiots.

    1. avatar Erik says:

      Dude I lose guns around my house all the time. Everyone I know does. These damn things all kinda look alike and you can only have so much space. For instance, my wife didn’t like the 1911 in the candy cabinet. A cabinet I’m most likely to be in. So she moved to to the butcher block drawer. I usually keep my carry guns under the coffee maker because I don’t drink coffee. Well when I went for the 1911 it was gone. Might as well be in the middle of hades as far as I know. So see, losing a gun can be a frequent and not necessarily your fault type of thing.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Hadn’t thought of that.

  3. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    So does this mean TSA missed about 80-90 times this many…or are they getting really good at finding guns?
    Further…when was the last time you read/heard about a gunshot on a plane…anywhere…

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “..when was the last time you read/heard about a gunshot on a plane…anywhere…”

      Why would there be shots on a pane? TSA found all the “forgotten” guns, keeping the airways safe. Or at least they found the ones that would have been fired in the aircraft. Proof? No shots fired in aircraft in the US.

      1. avatar Scoutino says:

        Good one. Reminds me of my jaguar-repelling pebble I always carry in my pocket. Works so well that I haven’t even seen a single jaguar since I’ve got it.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          I need to get me one of those !

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Further…when was the last time you read/heard about a gunshot on a plane…anywhere…”

      Yup, it happened, and by a *pilot*, no less, in the landing phase :

      “Pilot accidentally fires gun in cockpit ”



      1. avatar Sprocket says:

        Take a look at the holsters the gov made the pilots use back then. It’s like they were designed specifically to create negligent discharges.

    3. avatar Big Bill says:

      “So does this mean TSA missed about 80-90 times this many…or are they getting really good at finding guns?”

      Since these guns were “forgotten,” they wern’t concealed from the search methods used.
      If the guns were intended to be smuggled on board, they would have been concealed much better, and probably, then, most would get past the search.
      In fact, when the TSA is tested in this manner, most do get past the search.

  4. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    So what happens to all of these guns?
    Destroyed…sold…auctioned off?

  5. avatar Higgs says:

    How about this. Given the number of concealed carriers has risen from 4 million to almost 15, is it possible the increase is due to not checking the gun correctly or the tsa sometimes confiscating a pretty gun just because?

  6. avatar Swarf says:

    Publishing pictures of their loot? What a proud bunch of thieving hooligans.

    Fuck the TSA.

  7. avatar Hunter427 says:

    TSA personnel are clowns out of costume, most would not pass a background check. But there they are bossing travels around with too much power. I had great experience with them in Orlando barking orders on line like a drill instructor. Missed my flight for a leather men. I never want to fly

    1. avatar Marc T says:

      Oh they’re in costume. Would you be caught dead wearing one of those blue shirts in public unless you were paid to?

  8. avatar Eric Bunker, USAF, Ret. says:

    Just let folks carry on the plane. Given the ultra low crime rate of CCW permit holders it makes sense. They aren’t going to wig out and shoot up the plane.
    It’d be like having thousands of extra Air Marshals. And the bullet causing the plane to rip apart and suck people out is a myth.

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      I agree. If ccl holders are safe to carry on the ground, how do they become unsafe when they enter an aeroplane?

  9. avatar jug says:

    I am with Mr Eric Bunker, USAF Retired!

  10. avatar Aaron says:

    the picture at the top confuses me…dude is dressed like a TSA agent but his hand gesture looks like a proctologist

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      You understand perfectly.

  11. avatar Aaron says:

    Archie Bunker had the solution to airport security over 40 years ago https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PMH8uiqqtRg&time_continue=39

  12. avatar Paul says:

    Sadly, I was one of those idiots. Long story short my 10 year old had a friend coming over to play unannounced. I had my CCW out. Instead of putting it away properly I shoved it in my work bag.

    The next day I got a last minute call to fly for work. You can guess the rest.

    FBI confiscated the gun. Received a $500 fine, lost TSA PreCheck and have a federal firearm offense against me.

    During the day of court there were 6 other idiots like myself who had a very similar story.

    1. avatar Muhammad says:

      This is the exact scenario that I worry about. During domestic road trips I had put my truck gun in the same carry on I fly with when I checked into the hotels. I could barely sleep worrying that I would forget to take it back out.

      Considering that I am Muslim, I think my offense would earn me a trip to Guantanamo Bay instead of a $500 fine.

      1. avatar Swarf says:

        Oof. Be extra careful, because you are undoubtedly correct.

  13. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    So, the TSA “prevents” ~4,000 people a year who weren’t going to do anything, from doing anything.

    Weirdly, I don’t recall any year with ~4,000 hijackings, even before the TSA’s security theater.

    So, who are they preventing, exactly? From what?

  14. avatar CJ says:

    If you have a concealed carry permit, why doesn’t TSA give law abiding travelers the option of leaving the sterile area to secure the firearm rather than confiscate it? Seems like someone would have challenged this indiscriminate confiscation of legally owned and legally permitted firearms by now…

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