The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported that it discovered a weekly record of 89 firearms in carry-on bags at U.S. airports last week. Of that total, 74 were loaded and 27 had a round in the chamber.
Among the firearms discovered last week were a loaded .40 caliber handgun at Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson airport found hidden inside a wheelchair cushion and a loaded .22 caliber revolver tucked inside a passenger’s waistband at the Los Angeles airport.
Firearms may be transported as long as they are unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container in checked baggage. Passengers must declare the firearm and ammunition to the airline when checking the bag at the counter.
Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign, issued the following statement:
We’re thankful every day for TSA’s service in keeping us safe, and we applaud the vigilance that stopped these loaded guns from making their flights. But we also know that agents can’t catch everything. There are limits to the safety that security protocols can provide when we live in a nation that allows dangerous people to buy guns without a background check and, in some states, carry those guns anywhere. We saw the limits to that infrastructure strained just this year when a man shot eleven people in Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood airport. As Congress considers legislation to zero-out concealed carry standards nationwide, this disturbing report should underscore the importance of taking action to keep guns out of dangerous hands.
The TSA noted that it routinely discovers firearm components, realistic replica firearms, BB and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, stun guns, small pocket knives and many other prohibited items too numerous to note. As with firearms, these items may be transported in checked baggage.
The previous weekly TSA record for firearm discovery was 82 in May of this year.