Loaded gun discovered at airport screening center. Courtesy/TSA
TSA agents in airports across the United States discovered 67 guns in carry-on luggage during the week ending Sept. 17, which broke an earlier record of 65 firearms found during one week in May 2013.
TSA officers found nearly 1,900 firearms in carry-on luggage between Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, 2015. This year is thus on track to see a 28 percent spike in the number of firearms found compared to the 2,212 guns — an average of about 40 a week — discovered by TSA agents in 2014.
TSA notes that of those 67 guns discovered last week, 56 were loaded and 26 had a round chambered. The TSA added that in the second full week of September, its agents found other weapons in passengers’ luggage, including throwing stars, stun guns, gunpowder and belt buckle knives.
“Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent, which is why we talk about these finds … this is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home,” the TSA says in its weekly disclosure of weapon discoveries. The TSA adds that most passengers who pack heat in their carry-ons have “no ill intent.”
“In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items,” according to the TSA.
The TSA notes that guns and gun parts are prohibited in carry-on luggage, but passengers can check these items if they declare them with the airline. Passengers who do not follow the guidelines can face fines up to $11,000.
The Department of Homeland Security in June announced that an undercover test found 67 out of 70 weapons got past TSA agents. The 95 percent failure rate led to the reassignment of the acting head of the TSA.
The new TSA administrator, Peter Neffenger, said at a subsequesnt Homeland Security hearing that his goal was to “train out those failures” by the end of September.
Source: Homeland Security News Wire