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By Lee-Ann Durbin, AP

The Transportation Security Administration is raising the fine for people caught with a gun in their carry-on bag after intercepting a record number of firearms at security checkpoints this year.

The TSA said Friday it’s raising the maximum fine to $14,950. Previously it was $13,910.

TSA officers have found 6,301 firearms in carry-on bags so far this year, surpassing the previous record of 5,972 detected in 2021. The numbers have been increasing steadily over the last decade; in 2012, 1,549 firearms were detected at security checkpoints.

Eighty-eight percent of the guns found this year were loaded, the TSA said.

Firearm possession laws vary by location, but guns are never allowed in carry-on bags at any airport security checkpoint, even if a passenger has a concealed-weapon permit. Passengers transporting firearms must do so in a locked case in checked baggage. They also must declare them to the airline, the TSA said.

At a congressional hearing earlier this year, some lawmakers and airport administrators called for higher fines, gun safety classes for violators and other measures. They said the maximum fines were rarely imposed and clearly weren’t working as a deterrent.

But other lawmakers said most of the passengers who get caught simply forgot they were carrying a gun, and higher fines won’t stop that problem.

When the TSA finds a gun, it generally checks to see if it was stolen or involved in a previous crime. The agency may also confiscate the gun.

In addition to the fine — an amount determined by the TSA based on the circumstances of each case — the TSA will revoke PreCheck eligibility for at least five years for anyone caught with a gun at a security checkpoint. Passengers may also be arrested for a firearms violation depending on the state or local laws in the airport’s location.

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    • Pre-crime, of course. The FBI is working on some new procedures that will allow them to arrest Republicans and Conservatives up to 14 months before Congress passes the law they are arresting them for violating. The Bernie Bros and AOC ho3s have been pushing for 18 months, but an FBI spokesman said that will require them to update the software on all of Hunter’s laptops.

    • I went to the TSA website and reviewed their blog.
      It looks like they set records for gun discoveries in 2016 2017 2018 2019 and 2020
      Could not find results for 2021
      They published the number of guns with a round in the chamber in 2017 2018 2019 and it was 35% 33% and 39%.

      So about 35% of irresponsible gun owners carry with a round in the chamber.

  1. Even though this happened to a friend of mine (his 642 was in his briefcase); how can you forget you have a handgun? That was pre-9/11 so he was allowed to return his weapon to his car. No harm, no foul. Today? Maybe not so much. I’m aware of the location of every firearm I own. Although, I did once find an SKS that I had forgotten I owned. I’ve tried to be more careful since.

    • A LEO buddy of mine told me he recently got razzed by the TSA over a single spent casing. He had been at a range for regular training, and a spent 9mm case must have flipped into one of his pockets, and that same article of clothing was in his bag as he went through the airport security check. The equipment detected the residue, the casing was found, and the Airport Police were summoned. My buddy showed his badge and explained the situation, but still had to undergo the additional searches, the delays, and the scrutiny. He said the Airport Police were annoyed, but recognized his badge and understood the situation. He said the real problem was the TSA, who acted as though they had just stopped a major threat from boarding the plane.

      Lesson learned. Always check yer pockets.

      • Second lesson reinforced: Some animals are more equal than others.

        Think the AP cops would have given the same leniency to us peons?

      • Another bit of advice, don’t use an old range bag for a carry on. I use to use a backpack as a range bag I also used to travel with. I got randomly chosen for additional screening. They rubbed my hands and my bag with these wipes that showed explosive residue. That was a fun 3 hour and missed flight.
        And they do give breaks after 9-11, two years ago I was flying to Pensacola from Dallas for Christmas and had a small kershaw in my bag I don’t know was in there. They noticed it on the X-ray machine. They pulled me aside ask if I had anything to declare. Said nope, they immediately opens my bag and pulled it out. It was a 5.11 bag with about 20 pockets in it and they went right to it first thing. I said oh, my bad I forgot that was in there. They said I could either take it back to my car or forfeit it.
        I think that is a break.

      • For the shoe sniffers at TSA that was a big deal. Just understand that TSA pays people to sit in an empty hallway and watch closed doors for 8 hours.

        TSA is on their third or fourth uniform change in order to instill a “professional image” as law enforcement even though they do not have arrest powers.


      • And the TSA does have a massive chip on their shoulders when they replaced the BATF as the butt monkeys of federal law enforcement.

      • Actually, the whole Homeland Security bull is dubious – at best. The entire un-Patriot act needs to be rescinded, and carefully weeded out of all the laws that were altered by that act.

    • Until they lose in a courtroom, you think they care?
      Look at every state blowing off that case right now.
      Tyrants don’t stop until they are forced to stop.

      • CT,

        When they lose in court, the TSA will be converted over to an agency that hands out firearms to all passengers, then monitors the dropboxes at the end of the flight to collect, clean, and sanitize any unused firearms at the end of the flight so they can be re-distributed (to “save” taxpayer money).

        Wasteful government programs are the closest thing to eternal that mortals have yet devised.

        As a side effect, though, there will never be another successful hijacking.

  3. How is it that people can fail to notice a gun in their luggage. Have heard the, “I use the same bag for use at the range, and business or personal travel by commercial airline.” Is that really a thing; using the same bag? And not noticing a gun?

      • “Haven’t flown in quite awhile but dang that’s dumb!”

        Wonder if it is actually arrogant people who firmly believe “the rules” don’t apply to them. Or, maybe people truing to make a statement?

      • How hard is it to use a different bag for travel than the range?

        I have my regular backpack for work. Another for regular weekend activities. An old one for swimming. And my range bag contains clothing, binoculars, cleaning kit, tools, and other specific items.

    • I’ve never carried a weapon onto a plane, but have done similar. Walked into a bank, took care of business, and turned to leave, when something went “thump”. I look down, and sure enough, I’m still wearing my holster. I look back up toward the door, and the security guard is 4 feet away from me, ready for any problems. I smiled and say “Hi”, he does the same, and I went on my merry way. That wasn’t the first, or the last time I forgot that I was armed, that was just the one time that stands out in my memory.

      The Second Amendment doesn’t guarantee the right to be armed, except at certain times and places. It guarantees the right to be armed. Full stop. You don’t have to remain fully conscious of your weapon 24/7. It’s like a pocket knife, it’s there when you need it.

      • Second Amendment absolutism is one thing (which I support), and current laws quite the other.

        Have found no reasonable to CC a Barette Neos, so my experience is only home and range. Still, seems not knowing when you are armed isn’t the most prudent of life choices.

      • Musta been iin Montana. Used to be maybe still is, we peons cannot be armed inside a bank. So when I was there I mostly used the tin critters outside. Or left my piece in the car. I kept waiting to read about the time some robbers “forgot” to disarm before walking in to thee bank to rob it.then went back outside to leave their heaters in the car. Or, better yet, the robbers thinking everyone in the bank was disarmed when one Good Guy had “forgotten” to disarm before entering, and were thus able to end the robbery and hold the perps for the cops. then what would the coppers do with the illegally armed Good Guy who used is cintraband weapon to end the robbery and hold the crooks?

        For most of us who go about everywhere armed are not acutely aware of our status at all times and in all places. It s “just Normal”. When ravelling ones thoughts are focussed on SO many details, the time, tension created by the stupid Nannie system, etc. Friend of mine was waiting in the pre-clear line, his Dad still standing by outside the cordoned area when he real
        ised he still had his carry gun in its holster on his hip where it lives all the time. He was able to quietly remove himself from the line and saunter over casually to where his Dad was standing, opened is coat and stealthily handed his 1911 to his Dad who put it on his own waist. Had he waited another three or four minutes to rmember, he’d have been one more prize for te TSA to brag about.

        • If government wanted to (and they don’t so they don’t) a simple and secure system could be adopted where lawfully armed could attend a window or counter somewhere after having got their tickets and well before the TSA Theatre lines, and place their arms, loaded or not into a lockbox with a key and number, take the tag with the number and the key, tat box would then be put in a secure location aboard their plane and they’d be able to reclaim it at a similar counter at the destination airport. Just like we do at the courthouse. I ask to check my handgun, the Sheriff walks outside with me to the lockers, opens one with the numbered key he has, I place my weapon into the box and take the key. When I exit I simply find the locker take out my key, retrieve my weapon hand the key back to the officer with the ring of them. I am ALWAYS treated with respect and trust. I am unarmed inside the courthouse, not looked down upon in the slightest, and have full access to y gun between my car and the door of the courthouse.

          But they’d rather make a negative poilitical statement about “increasing numbers” of guns innocently forgotten about until.. too late TSA now have an “incident” they can track, monitor, make too much of, and use to scoff at we who DO go about armed in public as a normal thing.

          I will lay any amount at any high odds anyone will allow me that NOT ONE of those 6k guns confiscated would have been used for any nefarious purpose either during that flight or at the other end once the flight is over. Technical fouls, no harm done nor avoided.

    • Are you seriously wondering? The overwhelming majority are doing it consciously; you don’t pack your sh*t for a flight and “forget” there’s a firearm in there for some reason.

    • My practice is to keep all firearm related stuff in bags that never see an airport.
      I don’t want any powder residue, random cartridges, spent casings, whatever showing up at the security checkpoint.

      • “for a lot of people a firearm is part of their daily kit”

        understand that, but few find themselves accidentally at the airport, going through TSA screening.

    • I personally carry firearms on to commercial airline flights if they’re within the US. Rules for thee and not for me. even though I can legally carry on a flight I don’t think I can use the weapon legally but I load the magazines with frangible ammunition anyway just in case.

    • 10 years in prison? For a non-crime that is an explicit violation of a second amendment-protected right?

  4. With TSA’s p1ss poor track record at…well, everything, how many more guns did they miss with their kabuki theater antics.

      • doubtful…they’re pretty easy to spot on an X-ray….it is possible to miss one though…we used to conduct drills to see if you could slip one past us…and some did get thru….after which we caught a lot of hell…..

  5. Nearly forgot something, some years back I was dating a lady that mistakenly carried a Ruger LCP onto a commercial flight from Texas to California and then made it back through screening from California back to Texas with the pistol and three extra loaded magazines in her gigantic diaper bag purse.

    • “…some years back I was dating a lady that mistakenly carried a Ruger LCP onto a commercial flight…”

      Twenty years ago, leaving a consulting assignment in San Diego, got flagged for further scrutiny by TSA. The X-Ray reader called for back-up because he thought I had 40mm artillery rounds in my rolling luggage. In fact, I had two “similarly” shaped 12oz thermos bottles, and the coiled cord for my electric shaver seemingly touching.

      Even though there was no danger, no theat, no violation of law, the TSA supervisor was not amused; cautioned me to not bring those thermos bottles to San Diego again (which I did, anyway).

      In L.A., got into a tiff with TSA over the fact that my commercial quart bag was not the same size as the airport provided quart bag. Mine had a national brand, and eventually prevailed.

  6. A. Why can a bureaucracy (rather than an elected legislature) change a punishment, which is changing a law?

    B. As others have written, most “violations” are probably mistakes. Of those who consciously choose to do it (presumably in preparation for a crime), who TF is going to be deterred by $14,950, but not $13,910?!

    • Because the progtards in the Obiden admin will support the admininstrative (Swamp) state in anything it wants to (illegally) do.

      • Excellent points, both of you.

        After two more years of Bidenflation, $14,950 may not cover a pound of ground beef 😉

    • The term is “cash grab”. Just like how they want to know about every Venmo/Zelle transaction of $600 or more.

      Velcome to ze USSA, Comrade!

  7. Sure and I get hasseled for bringing my emotional support rattlesnake in my pants. That’s just not fair!

    • “…I get hasseled for bringing my emotional support rattlesnake in my pants.”

      Is this another form of calibre wars?

      • I got sidebarred: “Is that a pepperoni in your pants of what?” I smiled and asked “got a private room we can go too?” The supervisor comes and she says “Look, you can get arrested for that crap” and I smiled again and said “Yeah. and I can get arrested if you make me whip it out right here”. Off I went to the boarding section. All the male TSA’s were grinning.

  8. @Southern Cross
    “You mean those “sovereign citizen” types?

    Thinking anyone who is just ornery enough to try to make a point.

  9. Wrong move, of course. They should REWARD people for carrying. It is a well known fact that gun-free zones are primary targets for terrorists and crazies. Pardon the redundancy. When you find someone with a legal weapon, you give him a 1% or 2% discount on his fare. Problem fixed. No, you don’t give huge rewards, or every Tom, Dick and Harry will be toting some crap heirloom weapon the might explode if ever fired. Just a couple percent will do the trick.

    • I have a Van RV 4 that I built and the engine has a turbo but not for extra power, instead it’s so I can fly to high altitudes and have the same power that I do at sea level. It’s a great plane but it doesn’t have provisions for de-icing and it’s difficult to land if there’s snow on the runway deeper than about an inch. Consequently I can’t fly it to as many places as I want to because conditions frequently prohibit it.

      • I’ve seen those, is that a single or two seat, I know a guy that had one but I never saw it, I think he said it was a Van RV 10?

        • Actually, the RV10 is a four seater, and a fairly nice quick build example of one can be built for around $200,000 which sounds high but is a bargain in today’s GA market

        • The RV-3 is single seat, the RV-4 seats 2, in a tandem configuration (one behind the other, like early Piper Cubs).

          They are neat planes, light controls, and move fast for their horsepower ratings…

      • Fractional ownership in an LLC owned experimental registered airplane is easily attainable. The hard part for a lot of us is holding onto the medical certificate

    • some folks are aware of tat ting when they NEED it but most of the time it occupies NO brain capacity. It is just “there” like my shoes, sox, hat, belt. When I fly (rarely any kore) my mind is focussed upon the maze of lines, the too-rapidly ticking time, where I am supposed to be next at the airport, did I forget my whatziz which I will be wanting next week, having the right paperwork…. my first flight I wheeled my bicycle up to the ticket counter, asked when the next plane to San Francisco was, it leaves in half an hour, how much is th ticket twenty dollars. I plopped the bill on the counter, she handed me a ticket, pointed down a hallway and said “its down that way”. She never even asked my name, I wheeled the bike down that hallway, down a simple open ramp to the tarmac, the baggage guy let me hand off the bike e said he’d stow it well. I walked up the stairway to the plane found a seat next a window and aft the wing, sat down. In a few minutes they ranked up the turboprop engines and spun them up, they l=slammed the door shut and we rolled out to the runway. Other end I walked on the tarmac round to te back right, waited, when a guy rolled my bike back down the ramp he knew it was mine.. no tag on it. He handed it me and I rolled it back through the SF terminal hopped on it and rode it to my destination some 30 miles away. How comlicated was flying then? WHY does it have to be so stinking complicated now? I bet back then if some dirtbag had tried to take over the plane half the MEN on the plane would have him grounded and pounded and wrapped up tight with a spare seatbelt until we landed at the proper destination. Insread we leave all our “security” to government hirelings who have made a multibillion dollar industry out of it as well as a charade that is insulting and worse than useless. It would not have surprised me to learn that one third or more of the folks on that flight back then had handguns in their pockets or in holsters on their hips. We WERE a lot safer and happier then, and fr less money was stolen from us and wasted on kabuki theatre antics. HOW much of the cost of flying these days is a result of “saaaaafeteeee”?

      • remember stopping by our new airport at around 4 AM…asked one of the employees if there was a place I could go to have a cigarette…he said “follow me”..through a security door, down a flight of steps and the next thing you know there we both are having one under the wing of a plane!….

  10. “Have you tried clipping it to your hair as the manufacturer intended? ”

    I always have trouble with Italian words.

      • “According to “The Family Guy”, growing a moustache will make you fluent in the language.”

        Rudolph Valentino was Italian; he didn’t have a mustache.

        Think my beard keeps getting in the way.

  11. See that gun in that bag must mean somebody is going to die. With all the overreaction and interrogation you’d think the Gun was a venomous snake with no known anti-vemon and it must be contained.

    I confess a long while back I boarded an Amtrak with a knew the gun was in the bag but forgot for a busy moment it was in the bag and nobody died and no one was the wiser and damn it felt good to be armed while traveling in a tube with no telling what, real KEVIN moment.

    • Is it true TSA even have authority over rail transport? I’ve heard of them inspecting people getting OFF trains at their destinations.

      No wonder they have replaced F-Troop as the inbred second cousins of federal agencies.

  12. You know what, f—- the morons who try to board a commercial aircraft with a GD gun in their carry on. I have traveled a lot with my firearm… checked of course, but I know where my gun is at for crying out loud!!

    If someone is so air-headed or ignorant to do that, they DESERVE what’s coming to them.
    Now a single bullet in the corner of some pocket, I can see that happening but NOT a handgun.
    That’s just pure incompetence.

    If a person is going to the airport and you’re going to go through screening, you better know what’s in your carry on.

    I wonder what they’d do if I cut out a cardboard shape of a gun and wrapped in in aluminum foil so on the scanner it looked like a gun. I doubt they’d have a sense of humor about that.

    • remember them putting that orange firearms tag on the OUTSIDE of my suitcase on a Florida flight….a definite no-no….

      • @ Frank
        The worst part of flying with my gun, when you go to each airlines website that a person is flying on, be it Southwest, United etc, and check their policies on firearms in checked luggage, and you follow it, the worst thing is when you get some arrogant and or ignorant ticket agent who doesn’t know their own policies and they do things, or fumble around because of their ignorance. That’s the worst part.

        • I’ve had just that happen on several occassions in the past. Now, I don’t have to fly, but yeah, Employees not knowing the Airline’s policies was always a problem, even in the 70’s and 80’s.

  13. In freer and more civilized times, airlines/airports followed the Constitution, and didn’t search luggage. It was lefty terrorists in the late sixties, early seventies that prompted Congress to carve out a huge exception to the 4th Amendment. Then of course, 9/11 happened and paranoia went into overdrive.

    Let fear rule your life, and government tyranny soon follows. We’ll never get that freedom back, and we’re losing more every day.

  14. I had a live .22LR in my bag a few months ago. It had fallen on my bag as this bag never goes to the range and never has ammo or guns inside of it. It was so hard to find they had to send it through the x-ray machine three times. They just took the round and tossed it in the trash and told me to have a nice day. It could have been because I was in Texas. That is how this stuff should be handled. We shouldn’t be fining people the cost of a small car for an oops.

  15. Ah, yes, the vaunted Travel Surcharge Agency. Harassing citizens, abridging rights, providing morons with “jobs” and padding budgets since 2001.

    Remember when TSA was going to be temporary? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

    Oh, and they’re also entirely useless. Not so long ago I had a flight at the absolute last second due to a family emergency. In my haste I left my DE Microtech clipped to my pocket. Walked right through TSA’s checkpoint with an OTF automatic dagger attached to me. They even “body scanned” me and didn’t catch it. I realized I still had it when I was on the plane and went looking for my earbuds in my pocket.

    TSA might actually make the DMV look good.

    • You are certainly right when you say they probably miss the majority of guns and knives.
      However they set new records for number of seizures of guns every year since 2016
      So even though the majority of guns and probably knives get through, they are stopping lots of guns from getting onto airplanes.
      You should go over to the TSA blog, they find a lot of interesting stuff in peoples carry-on luggage.
      To include sword canes, belt buckle knives, lipstick knives and throwing stars
      I didn’t even know that lipstick knives existed.

      • Why would I care what is confiscated by an agency that shouldn’t exist in the first place?

        Show me the evidence that, given the admission that they miss the majority of guns and knives (and also fake bombs according to their own audits), this has made planes safer.

        Don’t bother. You can’t. That evidence doesn’t exist. It’s just “common sense”, when IRL, it’s a logical fallacy.

        • Wasn’t TSA supposed to prevent terrorist hijackings of airliners? Have we had a terrorist hijacking since TSA was established?

          TSA was established due to the luggage security failure that resulted in Pan Am 103 being destroyed in flight, because private industry made economic, rather than safety, decisions regarding terrorist bombs.

          How is the effectiveness of any preventative measure measured if the proof is the number of incidents directly and singularly deterred by a particular preventative?

          Despite the publicized failings of TSA, can we logically state that the existence has had no effect on diminishing a terror threat?

          Can the lack of evidence ever be the evidence?

        • @ Sam

          Rarely do I think this about something you say, but “Wut?”. Like, as in “Wut the fuck are you talking about?”.

          Pan Am 103 was in 1988. TSA was established on November 19, 2001 and was supposedly going to be temporary (but Reagan was right about “temporary” government programs).

          TSA was a response under G. W. Bush to 9/11 because of boxcutters on airplanes, which wasn’t the real problem.

          The real problem was the underlying assumption that hijackings were political/for money and that the best course of action was to not resist and wait for help to arrive. A doctrine established in the late 1970’s and based around the creation/retasking of units like Delta (Army) and HRT (FBI).

          Don’t do anything. Wait for .gov to rescue you. Until the enemy changes tactics and you die. Then we’re going to clamp down on you because of things we did.

          Exactly what you get when you put unintelligent control freaks in charge of shit.

  16. @strych9

    “Pan Am 103 was in 1988. TSA was established on November 19, 2001”

    In between there was much discussion (argument) about whether the federal government should take over airline security. Airlines and airports claimed they could handle it (without any common agreement on how to ensure safety), government claimed only a central office of airline security could be neutral to revenue concerns of the airline companies. 9/11 ended the debate.

    Does TSA provide a deterrent? Can lack of airline hijackings since 2001 be considered validation of TSA? I spent years on nuclear alert, as a deterrent to the Soviet threat. There were no nuclear attacks on the US. Does the lack of attacks prove the nuclear deterrent worked? There was no direct evidence of the number of any nuclear attacks prevented.

    As to the actual performance of TSA, well….I was declared unsuitable for a part-time, weekend job with them. Still, with all the Three Stooges episodes of TSA, there hasn’t been another airline hijacking.

    On the whole, I don’t like that anti-hijack security is necessary. However, the idea of turning sand to glass doesn’t get much political traction.

    • Correlation is not causation and the evidence argues rather strongly against causation.

      I mean, since all adults who die have consumed water in the past can it be said that water is straight out poison?

      How does one explain that from 1988 to Sept. 10 2001 there was a singular hijacking attempt (the failed attempt on FedEx 705) on US soil?

      Is that because TSA has time travel and is more effective in the future and the past but not right now? And if that’s the case how is it that current TSA effectiveness doesn’t benefit from future tech when the past does?

      Arguing that TSA is effective relies on circular logic and black swan events as evidence. It’s not really evidence (unless maybe you work at the FDA these days).

      At absolute best what you can say of TSA is “maybe” but the fact that they, according to their own data, miss most weapons means that it’s unlikely TSA has any affect other than wasting money and harassing people.

      Oh, they miss a majority but just so happen to nab the right minority? What are the odds on that?

      They put this information out publicly but that deters terrorists who know it’s more likely than not that they’ll get through?

      The TSA is unnecessary, useless and unconstitutional. If you want airline security, let the airlines do it.

      It seems to me that the demand for moderately competent terrorism vastly exceeds the supply.

  17. The simple fact is, that it’s all an illusion of security. Far too many people have access to aircraft that are only lightly monitored at best. Employee vetting is haphazard and varies depending on the airline. For many, it’s a simple background check.
    The point of TSA is control of the masses. Same with the Unpatriot Act.
    Real Security requires profiling. God forbid we look at Middle Easterners as potential Terrorists.

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