You Can’t Fly with Guns
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Oct 15, 2021
It is hard to imagine there are still people who feel they can pack a handgun in their carry-on luggage, board a plane to wherever; guns are not welcome.
Not only not allowed, people trying to get a gun through security is happening in record numbers. According to the TSA, more people are trying to take firearms onboard. TSA officers have confiscated a record number of funs at airport security checkpoints this year, setting a 20-year high, and there are two and a half months remaining and fewer passengers have flown this year due to COVID-19.
“The number of firearms that our TSA officers are stopping at airport checkpoints is alarming,” said David Pekoske, TSA administrator. “Firearms, particularly loaded firearms, introduce an unnecessary risk at checkpoint, have no place in the passenger cabin of an airplane and represent a very costly mistake for the passengers who attempt to board a flight with them.”
Is this crazy, or what? Through Oct. 3, 2021, nearly 4,500 airline passengers brought a gun to the security checkpoint. The previous record was 4,432 in all of 2019. That rounds out to 11 passengers per one million fliers. Compare that to the five guns per million passengers in 2019. Just guessing, but the numbers for 2021 will likely climb a little bit higher.
What role does a constitutional carry law come in to affect? None. It does not matter what state might have this law, firearms still not permitted in carry-on luggage. That includes any type of replica firearm. Persons can fly with a gun but it must be unloaded packed in a locked, hard-sided case and placed in checked baggage; however, it would be best to contact TSA prior to arriving at the airport.
In checking the first two weeks of October, there were 13 instances where TSA stopped passengers with a firearm in their carry-on luggage. Have you noticed lately the number of unruly passengers flying these days? Thankfully, none of these troublemakers had a gun on board.
I wonder who is trying to carry guns through the security checkpoint. Not long ago I reported that a well-known retired football coach from Oklahoma had a firearm in the duffle bag. Who keeps a firearm in a duffle bag, and forgets about it? I am not buying that one, though I am sure there are some fliers who use a duffle bag for a weapons storage device. Maybe not.
Atlanta seems to have caught the highest number of people with 391, Dallas-Fort Worth with 232. Rounding out the Top 5 are George Bush Houston, 168; Phoenix, 147; and Nashville International, 115.
On a final note, in additional potential criminal citations, fliers face civil fines from bringing a firearm to the airport security checkpoint. Penalties are determined whether the gun was loaded and whether there was accessible ammunition.
Know this, you cannot justify bringing your trusty sidearm with you. You cannot fly with a gun.
Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.