Still carrying guns on a plane

 

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PHOTO COURTESY TSA

What part of  “no firearms” is unclear?

There may be some blurry lines in the TSA rules — or at least in their implementation at various airports (do I take my shoes off if I’m under 11 or over 65?), but “no firearms” in carry-ons  is pretty clear. Or am I missing something?

Maybe I am, because recently, the  TSA discovered a record 104 guns in carry-on bags during a one-week period. And of those guns, 87 were loaded.

Really?  What are people thinking?

The TSA addresses that question on its blog — sort of.

“Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions; that’s for the law enforcement officer to decide,” the TSA writes. Oh, I sure, I get that (not).

“In many cases,” the TSA continues, by way of explanation, “people simply forgot they had these items.” OMG, so, like, somebody forgets they’re carrying a loaded gun? Does this actually happen, and if it does, should these people even be allowed to have guns?

Whether or not they’re loaded, how does one forget they are packing a weapon? Given the vicissitudes of packing for a flight these days, aren’t passengers aware of — let’s say scientific about — what they shove into their carry-ons?  Like medicine, electronics, a change of underwear, and — oh yes, better not forget the firearm ….

It’s not an “oops, where did that come from” sort of thing. Or maybe it is, since that’s what the TSA is suggesting.

While not everybody who carries in their carry-on has “bad intentions,”  trying to sneak guns on a plane has egregious consequences, according to the TSA post. “Each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested.”  Fines can be as  expensive as $13,066 per firearm.

Which should provide some significant funding for TSA operations, I’d imagine. So they can continue reminding flyers about that “no firearms” policy that is posted everywhere — from the TSA web site to the signs placed right on the security line as you head to the scanner.

LAST YEAR (2017) IN GUNS ON A PLANE

  • 3,957: A record number of  firearms  discovered in carry-ons at checkpoints across the country
  • 76.1: firearms per week detected — nearly 11 guns per day.
  • 84 percent: Of the total firearms discovered were loaded. And 34.8 percent had a round loaded.
  • 31: The record number of firearms discovered in one-month (August); Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International had the dubious honor of being the record-breaking airport.
  • 16.7 percent: Increase in firearm discoveries over 2016’s total of 3,391.

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jschensul View All →

I have two passions: animals and words. And I have managed to spend most of my life combining those two lvoes, using words to create awareness, to touch hearts, to help alleviate suffering, and to just make the world a kinder kind of place fdor all living things. I spent more than 30 years as a jo0urnalist at The Bergen Record newspaper, and have t a lifetime een using the power of words to XXX

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