Every once in a while the TSA releases data on how many people try to go through airport security checkpoints with firearms, and this year we’re seeing a 20-year record.
14+ guns stopped at TSA checkpoints daily, most loaded
The TSA has revealed some shocking data on the number of firearms that have been stopped at security checkpoints this year:
- So far in 2021, more than 5,000 firearms have been stopped at TSA checkpoints
- This represents a 20-year record in terms of the number of firearms stopped at checkpoints
- Over 85% of those firearms were loaded
- If you crunch the numbers (there have been 341 days so far this year), that means an average of ~14.7 firearms are stopped at TSA checkpoints daily, and ~12.4 of those are loaded
So, what happens when someone is caught with a loaded firearm at an airport? In some cases local law enforcement confiscates firearms at checkpoints and arrests those in possession of a firearm. Passengers found with firearms at checkpoints face fines of up to $13,910, and can have their TSA Pre-Check membership suspended.
I’ll never be able to wrap my head around this
I have a couple of thoughts when I see data like this.
First of all, if nearly 15 guns are stopped at TSA checkpoints every day, one has to wonder how many aren’t stopped. Historically the TSA has missed 90%+ of weapons when tests were conducted. Has the TSA improved considerably, or are 100+ loaded firearms getting through security checkpoints daily?
Next, I just don’t get how careless people are with bringing guns to the airport. I’m not a gun owner, but if I’m understanding the argument for guns correctly, it’s about self defense. If that’s the case, shouldn’t you always remember you have it on you, and take extreme precautions? It just seems like someone who shows up at an airport and forgot they had a loaded gun isn’t exactly the most responsible person.
Did most of the people getting caught just totally forget that they had a gun? Did they not realize they couldn’t take it on a plane? Did they want to see if they could get away with it?
It seems like the punishment is pretty minimal here, and for that matter earlier this year a US representative tried to board a flight with a loaded gun. Not only was he not charged with any crime, but the gun was even secured at the airport so he could retrieve it upon his return, so that he wouldn’t miss his flight.
I don’t want to be grim, but is it going to take a mass shooting on a plane or past a security checkpoint for stricter punishments to be put into place, to deter people from accidentally bringing guns to the airport? I would think there’s not another country in the world where a dozen people per day get stopped with a loaded firearm at the airport, and no one bats an eyelid.
The TSA has released data for 2021 regarding firearms at security checkpoints. So far this year, over 5,000 firearms have been stopped at airports, and 85% of those were loaded. So yeah, over 12 people per day are being stopped at checkpoints with loaded firearms. This problem continues to get worse rather than better, and I just don’t get it…
Can anyone make sense of the number of people bringing guns to airports? What’s the logic?