TSA intercepted more than 1500 guns at airports in 2012

The next time you hear someone glibly refer to TSA airport security officers as incompetent or useless, remember this article.  More than 1,500 firearms were brought to our nation’s airports in 2012 by travelers and were caught by the TSA.  That’s not something you’ll hear much about, and the accolades will be rarely if ever forthcoming from the media or the Congress.  But it’s hard to argue with this impressive performance. 

On a separate note, the point made below about passengers being allowed to bring their guns back to their cars to be locked in their trunks is not a national TSA policy. Rather, that’s something that happens on a state-by-state basis. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the repercussions for carrying a gun into Logan International Airport are severe, and rightly so.  AA

Washington (CNN) — Passengers are not allowed to carry guns onto airplanes, yet the Transportation Security Administration finds hundreds of weapons each year.

In 2012 more than 1,500 firearms were discovered by screeners at airport checkpoints, TSA spokesman David Castelveter said. That is an average of more than four weapons a day.

iReport: Was your gun banned?

A total of 1,320 firearms were found in 2011. Many were loaded, and some had rounds in the chamber.

“We do assume that the vast majority of weapons that come through are (from) people who didn’t know they couldn’t carry them on or were not aware they were in the bag,” Castelveter said.

Through the end of November, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport led the nation with 80 guns found.

The top five airports also included Dallas/Fort Worth International with a total of 75 firearms, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with 50, George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston with 48, and Denver International Airport with 36.

Read more: FBI gun background checks hit record highs

It’s not clear whether the increase in the number of guns found in 2012 is due to more people traveling with weapons or TSA screeners and new screening technologies doing a better job of finding them.

When firearms are found at a checkpoint, the TSA calls local police who determine whether the passenger should be arrested, ticketed or have their gun returned.

“They can be permitted to take the weapon back to (their) car and come back,” Castelveter said. “If it is illegal (to have the weapon in that locality), then it is confiscated by law enforcement.”

Watch: Giving up guns

Under TSA rules, guns are allowed in checked baggage in locked, hard-sided containers. They must be unloaded and declared to the airline, and passengers must follow local gun laws.

Guns, ammunition, firearm parts and even realistic replicas cannot be carried on the plane.

Guns are not the only weapons banned from the passenger areas of planes. The TSA blog highlights a wide variety of prohibited items discovered in carry-on bags.

Poll: Majority favors gun restrictions

In the first week of December, passengers tried to take 40 stun guns through checkpoints. The next week, a walking cane with a sword inside was found, and in the week before Christmas, a spear gun was discovered. In addition, four inert grenades were found inside carry-ons.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s