A long time ago, the federal government decided that letting people carry guns on planes was not a good idea. One reason was probably several hijackings of U.S. passenger planes in the 1970s. These confirmed the plan was an excellent idea. Even with stringent rules in place and how luggage is carefully examined at airports, people have tried to get 6,301 firearms onto planes from the start of this year through December 16. More than 88% were loaded. Fortunately, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents stopped them.
The TSA recently issued the figures and a plan to cut gun-carrying attempts. In its “TSA breaks record for number of firearms at security checkpoints, announces new measures to mitigate threat” report, the agency pointed out that to reduce the threat of firearms at checkpoints, “TSA has increased the maximum civil penalty for a firearms violation to $14,950.” Prison time seems a better way to stop gun-toting people. The TSA said some people might be arrested.
Additionally, the TSA plans to “conduct enhanced screening for those passengers to ensure no other threats are present. “ That implies that the current system is not good enough and should not provide comfort to air travelers.
Among the most alarming parts of the TSA announcement is a chart of the people caught trying to bring guns on planes. The number was 1,123 in 2010. It rose above 2,000 in 2014 and above 3,000 in 2016. The figure topped 4,000 in 2018. It beggars the imagination how these figures could rise so high and so quickly.
The numbers paint a picture of too many people getting on planes with plans to take guns with them. What possesses people to think they can do this? If the TSA knew that answer, it might be able to cut down the growing numbers.
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