By now, one would think that gun owners would know how little the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) appreciates the reasons you have a firearm on your person when you try to go through security. The TSA catches a lot of well-earned flak over some of the gun-shaped objects it will confiscate, but it does find real guns from time to time.
And, it seems the TSA found a record number in 2018.
The Transportation Security Administration marked what it called a “milestone year” with the release of its “TSA Year in Review: A Record Setting 2018” on Thursday. Among other statistics, the agency reported that a record-setting number of firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at TSA checkpoints across the country last year.
TSA agents found 4,239 total firearms in carry-ons in 2018, an average of 81.6 firearms per week, or 11.6 per day. Of the firearms found, 3,656 (86.15 percent) were loaded—another record—and 1,432 (33.74 percent) of the total had a round chambered.
Of course, to a non-gun person, this is some kind of big deal.
Well, it is, but mostly because I’m trying to figure out why only a third of the guns found were ready to be used. Seriously, just a hair under 34 percent?
Anyway, the story continues:
The most guns discovered in one month, a record-setting 32, were found in August at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Overall, firearm discoveries increased more than 7 percent (282 more) from 2017’s total of 3,957.
Now, in all fairness, when you consider the number of gun owners and the number of people who go through airport security every year, these numbers aren’t that high.
You see, the FAA reports that 2.6 million people fly every year in the United States. That means something like 0.16 percent of passengers had a gun on their person.
Not exactly an epidemic by any stretch of the imagination.
That said, gun owners, check your luggage before you get on a flight. Each of these 4,239 gun owners represents someone who was either trying to get away with something or was just careless with their firearm. Neither is good from the standpoint of gun owners in general. While those who were up to no good will always be an issue, carelessness regarding a firearm, even if it’s forgetting that it’s in your bag or on your person, not only will cost you a whole lot of hassle, but it paints all gun owners in a negative light.
When traveling, take a few minutes to make sure your weapon isn’t anywhere it’s not supposed to be. If you want to travel with your firearm, great. There are rules for that. While I don’t like how those rules work in many ways, they do exist, and they do permit travel on an airline with your firearm.
Leaving it in your carry on, however, will not win friends and influence people. At least not in any positive way.
Check your bags, folks. By now we know anti-gunners will ignore the percentages and pretend most gun owners are somehow irresponsible or potential hijackers (with anti-gunners, it could go either way), so why would you give them ammunition to use against us? Take a few moments and make sure your gun is where it’s supposed to be.
For everyone’s sake.