New TSA Record: 73 Guns in Carry-Ons in One Week

68 of those firearms were loaded
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2016 10:46 AM CDT
New TSA Record: 73 Guns in Carry-Ons in One Week
A small selection of items confiscated from passengers in 2015 by the TSA is displayed during a news conference at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Dec. 18, 2015, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The week of April 15-21 was a record-breaking one for the TSA, though not a record it likely wanted to break. During that one-week span, the federal agency found 73 guns stashed in carry-on bags at airports nationwide, breaking the previous weekly record of 68 set just last October, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. Of those firearms, 68 were loaded, and 27 had a round in the chamber. Guns can be brought on flights, but they have to be declared in checked luggage only, unloaded, and secured in a locked container, per TSA rules. "Unfortunately, these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent, which is why we talk about these finds," a TSA rep says in a blog post, which features pictures of some of the confiscated items, as well as a list of what items were found at which airports.

Also discovered: two replica military rounds at Tucson's airport. The TSA notes that even if a passenger has "no ill intent" in packing the gun in the carry-on, he or she can receive a citation, be arrested, and/or have to pay a fine as steep as $11,000. And despite applause that may come the TSA screeners' way for a job well done, they'd rather not find these weapons at all. "Each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down" and the passenger is at risk of the repercussions, the post explains. Oddly, despite findings like this, the TSA has been trying to do away with screenings at smaller regional airports to save money, sometimes screening passengers after they land at larger airports to make connecting flights—a process called "reverse screening," per Politico. The agency is now restaffing some of those smaller airports with screeners after Congress got wind of the plan and some members denounced it as dangerous. (More TSA stories.)

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