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TSA Intercepts Over 3,200 Firearms in First Half of 2023 at US Airports

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The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) captured 3,251 firearms at airport security checkpoints within the first half of 2023, averaging 18 firearms a day, with over 92% of them being loaded. (www.airlinerwatch.com) More...

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jimjallen
Jim Allen 36
Can we please stay on topic? First, I don’t own a gun but if I did I’d be damn sure aware of the rules before I boarded an aircraft. I flew after 9/11 through BWI and some idiot tried to get though security with a gun. Everyone was instructed to freeze where they were. The guns the police were carrying were serious and they’re a lot more formidable when they’re 10 feet in front of you. I have no problem with gun ownership, but if you are the responsible gun owner that you claim to be.. follow the rules. We all want to get there on time.
thans625
Agreed
ianbtv
Ian Campbell 3
Herein is the disconnect: responsible gun owners and following rules. Consider the mindset of those who flaunt the latter. Would you trust such an individual to have the requisite objectivity to mingle in public - anywhere? And - their reported numbers (at TSA and otherwise) are growing. What has fueled this condition?
kerimparrot
Mike Williams 9
Back in about 1980, I flew from my Tucson home to my parent's Detroit area home. They did not want to get my 22 cal. Marlin rifle to move it to their next home. I had to take it or it would be trashed. I contacted the airline and gave me too many rules. I took that rifle apart and put it into a cardboard box. It never saw the passenger section. I put it together after I got back to Tucson.
shenghaohan
Shenghao Han 13
I was surprised, but then, is I recall people still trying to lit a cig or vape on the planes... So I'm nolonger surprised
PBCool1
Preston Bradley 22
If 3200 guns were caught, how many knives and other possible weapon types were found…some of you can downplay TSA if you want…some of the dismissive attitudes are interesting to read until something really threatening happens. Plenty of news reports recently on pax deciding to act up during flights. E-landings and law enforcement intervening. Then there is the lingering quiet question…with so many being caught/found, what percentage are getting through…still? Not so much guns but the other potential threatening objects.
srobak
srobak 3
While I understand and agree with your point - another thing to consider is this: With however many guns (or other "threatening objects") - how many incidents involving any of those things have happened on any flights since 9/11?
lrxify
Louie R 4
Just one would be too many
williambell617
William Bell 7
A better question is how many were prevented? With the number of crazy passengers being kicked off of planes, I would guess quite a few.
RECOR10
RECOR10 3
How many had a weapon banned by TSA - most of the nuts are kicked off due to booze...readily available as every airport.
johntaylor571
John Taylor 0
Oh yes, If we save just one life, the deprivation of all of our constitutional rights are well worth the sacrifice. Spoken like a true tyrant.
tsultana
Tony S 1
It's not depriving your constitutional rights. You do not have the right to carry everywhere just like your free speech does not protect you when you defame someone publicly.

Just buy a hard case and put your unloaded firearms in it then lock it with your own locks. It's not hard to fly, that's how I travel with firearms.
srobak
srobak 1
That's not how constitutional rights work.
They are your protections from the government - not from each other. Since the government is everywhere - you should be able to carry everywhere, but that's another discussion.

If you don't declare the firearm - tsa will cut the locks, and they often do when if you do declare it and check it properly.
tsultana
Tony S 2
You're right, I used a bad example for the first amendment. And you're right that you need to declare the firearms in checked baggage and sometimes they do cut the locks anyway. That's our hourly wage TSA agents extra hard at work.
srobak
srobak -1
While you are correct - that's not the point. Far many more "threatening objects" make it through than don't - and there have not been any incidents.
RECOR10
RECOR10 8
I once carried a shampoo bottle that was half an OZ over the limit....thankfully there was no crash.
thans625
I once was doing that job at DULLAS Wash airport and it’s sicking for the garbage detected in checked in luggage this is an area that does not get enough attention
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 2
Well what is the point then? Repeating the fact that there have been no incidents since 2001 doesn't tell us what it is you want.
williambell617
William Bell 1
What's the basis for your statement?
thans625
That prior to 911 we did. Not do a good job on checked baggage
srobak
srobak 1
Math.
thans625
The biggest debacle was how the FBI & CIA missed the terriost training on how to fly big jets in Florida this was totally a crime.
castl3bravo
derek gassen 12
It happened at San Diego last Wednesday. A 40-50 yr old woman, 1 person ahead of me, had a round in the chamber in her luggage. It was clear as day on TSA's review screen. She tried to disown her luggage, but she was probably arrested & will eventually pay a >$4000 fine for her antics.
jimjallen
Jim Allen 3
You have to wonder.. really. Is a case that expensive? Is putting it in your luggage too much to ask? Wait until the plastic guns start getting practical. All these games just make TSA more inclined to start searching every bag.
johntaylor571
John Taylor 6
There's no such thing as a "plastic gun". There are plastic parts but the parts where the actual "explosion" of the firing of the gun occur are made of hardened metal. Please educate yourself about firearms before commenting on a subject you know nothing about.
RECOR10
RECOR10 -2
Facts have bearing when it comes to the fear-mongering and delusions of the anti-gun fools.
srobak
srobak -5
It cannot go in the luggage.
johntaylor571
John Taylor 5
Firearms are allowed in checked baggage.
srobak
srobak -1
Yeah? Put a gun in a holster and then put it in your checked bag. Let me know how that works out for you.

It needs to be in a locked case. It needs to be declared at the ticket counter. It needs to be documented and you need to get a property & handling receipt. Then it can be put in checked baggage, and then that needs (should) to be processed through special baggage handling.
williambell617
William Bell 4
And the locked case can go in your checked bag.
srobak
srobak 1
That's what I said.
cparks
cparks 1
Your posts aren’t making a lot of sense.

“It cannot go in the luggage.” - John Taylor correctly commented that yes, they are allowed in checked luggage.

Instead of taking the “L” you doubled down on a point that you didn’t make earlier: “Yeah? Put a gun in a holster and then put it in your checked bag. Let me know how that works out for you.” - declared firearms in locked, hard-sided cases can indeed be in a holster.

Take the L, dude.
srobak
srobak 0
Not an L. Placing a firearm in a checked bag without first placing it in a locked case (how many cases do you have that also accommodate a holster?) and also declaring it will not end well. You cannot just nonchalantly place a gun in a checked bag like it is a rolled up pair of socks.

Maybe I wasn't specific enough in my first reply - but rather than bag on me for being more descriptive in a followup - maybe you could try to actually read my clarification for exactly what it was.
RECOR10
RECOR10 -3
Yeah, and the idiots at luggage know EXACTLY what bags to steal....(that is when Biden officials are not stealing them).
thans625
I did that job and worked X-ray on carrry on and it’s a high intensity job because we were always tested with decoy bombs that were not always all in one package but had wires going to different locations in the luggage
RECOR10
RECOR10 3
TSA fails 95%+ of third party random tests...proven.

https://reason.com/2021/11/19/after-20-years-of-failure-kill-the-tsa/
jkeifer3
Joe Keifer 5
Well done! But how many got through?
RECOR10
RECOR10 3
Five or six times that many.
Flightdog
Roger Curtiss 5
Years ago I took a carry-on through security that was flagged. I thought it was bec ause I had a loaded magazine (the gun itself was in my checked bag), but no...it was because I had 2 sculptured eggs that "looked suspicious". The screener never even noticed the magazine apparently.
srobak
srobak 1
That's confidence-inspiring.
amacnabb
amacnabb 9
If only people knew the simple rules for traveling (flying) with a firearm...
EMK69
EMK69 11
I wished the article had detailed how many were actually charged with an offense. In 05 my son was killed in Iraq and I had to catch a civilian airliner. I always carry my trauma bag wherever I go and on that trip, I had forgotten my seatbelt cutter/knife. It was caught and taken away. I ended up mailing it to myself but the mistake was my fault however it was still classified as a weapon in my luggage. Haven't travelled the airlines in years but still CCW my weapon when I fly my plane and I can see how some would forget.
punkrawk78
Silent Bob 6
Hard to say because as far as I know the TSA can levy fines or other penalties, but they don’t actually prosecute people that’s up to the local airport authorities. When a weapon is found law enforcement is called to handle it so the response is highly dependent on their policies/procedures.
4gloriajohns
Gloria Johns 1
I'm so sorry for the loss of your son, EMK.
cparks
cparks 10
It’s pretty rare that I’m not armed. I travel occasionally via airline and usually with at least one firearm. The rules are not hard to follow and I am vigilant to not forget what is where. I have got dinged for forgetting about a pocketknife or two but never a firearm.

I don’t understand the casual forgetfulness of most of those 3,251 (and probably more) examples.
craiglgood
Craig Good 14
Yeah. This seems to be evidence that a lot of people are carrying who really shouldn't be.
RECOR10
RECOR10 1
Or, they are so relaxed with their responsible gun ownership that it slips their minds...like too large of a toothpaste tube.
redsquare44
redsquare44 3
Armed, in a way, implies intent. I've had multi-tools and a back roller confiscated.
srobak
srobak 1
What intent does being armed imply, exactly?
lynx318
lynx318 3
If not a threat, why 92% loaded?
srobak
srobak -1
So a loaded firearm is a threat?
lynx318
lynx318 1
Obviously yes.
jprogers
John Rogers 2
So unloaded firearm is not a threat.
srobak
srobak 1
That's ridiculous. People are threats. Not inanimate objects. A hammer is just as much a threat as a loaded firearm.
alteraif
Suliman alteraif 5
Good job
GBCUA1K
Greg Cotten 2
American Idiot by Green Day comes to mind
FromtheRight
Michael Reynolds 2
A small plastic replica souvenir of the Burg Khalifa inside my carry on at SIN caused all of my bag contents to be dumped out for an enhanced inspection.
srobak
srobak 1
You should have gotten the Mia Khalifa replica instead.
wskessler
Billy Kessler 3
Very likely zero of those people intended to hijack the plane. They just forgot that their weapon was in their bag.

But if they don't know that the gun is there, it is obviously useless for self-defense.

These are the guns that are stolen because the owner wasn't taking care with their bag. They end up in the criminal underworld, a threat to us all.

Worse, these are the guns that inquisitive little hands find when the bag is casually tossed on the floor. (Anyone who's had children knows about those little hands).

I'd say that such carelessness with a lethal weapon is clear evidence that the owner is seriously irresponsible with guns. First offense: lose the right to carry a weapon for a year. Second offense: permanent ban.
srobak
srobak 2
Yeah, I've never understood that. A handgun belongs in one of two places at all times: Either strapped to its owner or locked in a case/safe. How it ever ends up in a bag, backpack, gym bag or carryon - I'll never understand.
larrykreuger
Larry Kreuger 4
Never fails on this (and other sites where comments about public safety are encouraged) to bring out the politically naive with their little drama scenarios, name calling, category lumping and general venting. I used to believe this derived mostly from their failure to continue reading after high school…now however I think there are far more variables involved.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 5
Hopefully when you find your safe place it doesn't have internet.
RECOR10
RECOR10 0
When Al Gore invented the internet he made it to be safe for everyone, even tear-soaked stuffed unicorns and female judges who can not define what a female is.....
jprogers
John Rogers 1
Did they have female judges back then? :)
brentaustinlee
Brent Lee 3
The gross stupidity of those attempting to carry on firearms convinces me these people shouldn’t be allowed to possess any.
jprogers
John Rogers 3
Can we apply that theory to voting also?
RECOR10
RECOR10 1
Yes, but we have this pesky Constitution of the United States. What is NOT in the Constitution is air travel nor a requirement for the Government to protect its citizens...that is what a well-armed militia is for...like it or not.

That said, I think that people should have to get a license to breed. THAT is out of control.
victorbravo77
victorbravo77 1
... well-regulated.
srobak
srobak 2
you do know that when written that meant "well-armed", right?
williambell617
William Bell 2
It seems like the intent of the article was just to remind people about the rules for flying with firearms. Whether you like the rules or not, if you want to fly with firearms
you still have to follow them until they are changed. Somehow, the discussion degenerated into a political discussion which I think is kind of off base for an aviation related forum.
jbsimms
James Simms 1
I can remember flying from Huntsville, AL to Tucson, AZ in 1986 to visit an Army buddy from Korea @ Fort Huachuca, AZ. Took my .38 in the checked luggage & we had a Grand Old Time shooting up targets.
PedroBerwanger
Good job!
briansfreeman
Brian Freeman 0
"A well-regulated militia..." How soon we forget.
cparks
cparks -2
Another person who doesn’t know what that means, or what a prefatory clause means.

If you want to learn this is a good start. If you want to remain in ignorance then…ignore it.

https://www.billwhittle.com/firewall/your-second-amendment
briansfreeman
Brian Freeman 4
Yes, a biased puff piece (focused on debatable vocabulary) that supports YOUR position. How original!! Gee, I've never found ANY puff pieces that support the opposite position (insert copious amounts of sarcasm here...) Chill. No one is going to take your guns away. All I ask is that you lock them up, learn how/when to use them, and use them accordingly. Too much to ask?? (<<rhetorical)
cparks
cparks -4
So you choose to remain ignorant. Color me surprised.

As to the often blathered “No one wants to take your guns away”, you really shouldn’t find us skeptical after so many tell us that’s exactly what they want to do. We keep the receipts.

https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/seriously-one-wants-take-guns/
briansfreeman
Brian Freeman 2
Your fervent, "ready for a fight" bias is showing. I watched your puff piece as you asked. How else would I know it's little more than a vocabulary lesson from a supposed scholar?? Don't be so hasty to insult and shut down others just because they might have a difference of opinion. Never forget, protecting one's ability to express a difference of opinion is allegedly how your guns came to be so worshipped in the first place. I think that's more than enough of this folly and pointless discussion for an aviation website. Again, chill and your life will be much happier than always looking for an unnecessary fight.
cparks
cparks -7
I didn’t say you didn’t watch the video. I said you chose to remain ignorant, and you have. No mention about those receipts either.

One of us definitely needs to chill and be much happier than always looking for an unnecessary fight: the Left always accuses others what itself is guilty of.

Go. Chill. Stop looking for fights. And while you’re chilling, educate yourself on original intent and language, ‘cause you’re looking pretty silly.
SorenTwin
SorenTwin 0
"Wake Up, sheeple! The government's comin'fer yer women, likker and guns!". Visit this website and be edumakated! Www.nocluewhatsoever.com"!

Listen to yourself
srobak
srobak 2
Lest you forget - they DID come for the liquor, have openly and blatantly stated they are coming for the guns, continue to try to subcat women and are even going after religion.
SorenTwin
SorenTwin 0
That guy again? The conservative jackwagon that had that show about the "left-wing pop culture's war on our freedom and rights?" You'd get more educated material from a random episode of Blue's Clues.
patpylot
patrick baker -3
any chance at least one of the 3.200 had actual feelings of hijacking an airliner, or shooting up the inside of an airliner?
punkrawk78
Silent Bob 5
Nope. Because if someone is so inclined to use a pistol on an airplane they won’t be taking it through TSA.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

spm71
Sean Mathews 0
No. They are inanimate objects just like knives, baseball bats and, oh, razor blades.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

SorenTwin
SorenTwin 0
And why does a person need to have an object that isn't "inanimate" to be considered a threat?

You're regurgitating a phrase that others use without understanding the words.
srobak
srobak 1
And you aren't understanding that the object isn't the threat - the person is, regardless the presence of any object.
lynx318
lynx318 0
The next question, why are 92% loaded if just transporting with them?
johntaylor571
John Taylor 2
If a person is carrying a concealed firearm for self defense, it is always loaded. Otherwise, why carry? Chance are most weapons found were due to people not aware of the rules or they just didn't realize they were carrying out of habit, however obvious the rules are.
lynx318
lynx318 2
Loaded means an intent to use if threatened. A scary sotuation if there ever was one on a plane.
srobak
srobak 1
Yes - a threatening person on a place is a scary situation.
srobak
srobak 1
Do you often sit in your car without any gas, or shit for an hour at the dinner table and stare at an empty plate in front of you?
srobak
srobak 3
sit. Lol. Damn phone.
jkeifer3
Joe Keifer -5
I suspect the TSA is about as good at stopping weapons from being smuggled aboard a plane as is the US government is being able to stop the flow of fentanyl and "others" into the country.
RECOR10
RECOR10 -5
TSA is aking to Chicago being a "gun free zone"....LOL LOL LOL
Nooge
Nooge 6
LOL LOL LOL

Got to get some political stuff in

I laugh at you not with you

BTW it is akin
SorenTwin
SorenTwin 0
Pretty sure it's not "akin" either.

I'm not laughing with you.
srobak
srobak 1
Actually, it is.
KicksOnRoute66
Roger Anderson -1
Stupid paywall
jkeifer3
Joe Keifer -1
The need for Federal Air Marshalls on every flight is high due to the TSA's ability to not catch all of the weapons being brought on board. To put the FAMs at the border babysitting, etc., is criminal.
BorisBiggins
Boris Biggins -1
Call me cynical, but I cannot imagine that many fliers forgetting they had a firearm in their carry on or that you couldn’t carry a CCW onto a commercial airline. That leads me to wonder how many of those firearms were TSA test firearms?
4gloriajohns
Gloria Johns -1
What do you expect when the U.S. worships at the altar of firearms and makes it as easy as possible for anyone to carry. Did you really think the guns would stay at home?
srobak
srobak 1
It is not easy to legally carry. If you need to know the process - I can explain it to you. If the guns are transported properly - there is no reason for them to stay home.
klimaz
George Klima -1
Well regulated militia?
dalyinbox
John Daly -5
If I were thinking about hijacking an Airliner right now, I would be very worried about some trigger happy jerk with a gun that through. That could ruin everything. Hijacking just ain't safe anymore.
BillOverdue
Bill Overdue -5
Hmm, I guess if Boot-Edge-Edge thinks over 2,000 train derailments are normal, then 3200 firearms is not a problem at all?
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 6
Nothing you say makes sense. Zero.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 3
Well I'm not one of those people, so any other ideas?

While we're at it, any thoughts on why participating in this comment section feels so much like trying to nail jello to a tree?
msetera
msetera -5
...shall not be infringed.
jimjallen
Jim Allen 8
So I don’t have a right to make a flight on time because you have the right to carry despite it being against the law? I think your rights end where my itinerary begins. There’s an old legal maxim.. the right to swing your arms ends before my face.
srobak
srobak 2
actually - you don't have a right to make a flight on time, period. Regardless of any other factor. And no - nobody else's inalienable rights (nor your own) end at any arbitrary point you determine begins.
BillOverdue
Bill Overdue -3
... begs the question how many "hundreds of thousands " are coming across the open border?

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 5
Not a SINGLE life has been saved since their inception

or

Not a SINGLE airliner has been hijacked since their inception


Take your pick, they are both equally meaningless and stupid.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

59Captain
M. R. 4
? What happened in 2011 ?
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 7
So allow guns because they weren't used on 9/11?

People were willing to be victims like they were on United 93, you mean. Great point.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

srobak
srobak -2
You might have missed it - but 93 was the one out of all of them where they opted not to be victims.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 3
Me? I brought it up!
jprogers
John Rogers 2
Re-read what you posted.
cneill1
Cole Neill -7
yea, and if you believe this tripe, you probably voted for Creepy Joe.

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