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The TSA Stopped Four Fully Loaded Handguns From Getting Through Security at Austin Airport in a Single Day Last Week

The TSA Stopped Four Fully Loaded Handguns From Getting Through Security at Austin Airport in a Single Day Last Week

a sign in a terminal

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it stopped four fully loaded handguns from being brought through the security checkpoint and into the cabin of passenger planes at Austin Bergstrom International Airport in a single day last week.

The TSA has already found at least 11 firearms at Austin Airport’s security checkpoints in 2024 and the first month of the year isn’t even over yet.

The local police department were dealt with to deal with the rulebreakers but the toughest penalty the passengers face is a civil penalty imposed by the TSA. Carrying a weapon through a TSA checkpoint could land the passengers with a fine of up to $15,000 each.

“It is disappointing that four separate individuals arrived at the checkpoint with a loaded gun, which introduced a potentially dangerous situation that they brought upon themselves and other travelers,” commented Gilbert Almaraz, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Central Texas.

The TSA is keen to remind passengers that firearms are only allowed to travel in checked baggage when locked in hard-sided cases. Firearms must be unloaded and cannot be taken on international flights.

The repeated warnings, however, appear to be falling on deaf ears. Last year, the TSA intercepted a record 6,737 firearms at airport checkpoints across the United States.

Alarmingly, only 7% of the intercepted firearms weren’t loaded.

The airport with the most offenders was Atlanta, with 451 intercepted firearms, followed by Dallas Fort Worth with 373 intercepted firearms, Houston with 311, Phoenix with 235, and Nashville rounding out the top five worst airports for firearm interceptions with 188 intercepted guns.

In the final three months of 2023, the TSA was intercepting an average of 18 firearms every single day.

As well as a big civil penalty and potential criminal enforcement, offenders who enjoy the privilege of TSA PreCheck will have the benefit rescinded for at least five years.

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  • My opinion won’t be poplar with many people but…Why would someone carry an unloaded firearm, that’s more strange than them being loaded. Hopefully, they don’t find many that have a round chambered though.

    Imagine that they claim to have found all these guns but you know they don’t find most of them. So all those guns that eventually made it onto airplanes yet no shootings on airplanes. The biggest risk of guns on airplanes is a shooting that compromises the pressurized cabin. The other risk is if someone decides to hijack the plane (or stands up to shoot people in church, theater, etc.) and 4 other people stand up with guns and you don’t know who the bad guys are.

    I think it’s irresponsible for gun owners or those with concealed carry permits to forget they have them with them. But speaking from experience as a road warrior, it’s easy to have a handgun that you carry with you when you travel by car much of the time, and then your travel shifts that week to a flight and you can forget it’s in your bag when you rush off to the airport. I would rather keep my travel gun in my car most of the time but I worry about it getting broken into and stolen so it ends up in the hands of a criminal.

    Maybe a booth at the airport with a warning or reminder that if you forgot a gun in your hand luggage you can check your firearm in at that booth in a secured locker. This would also allow people to protect themselves from their car to the terminal and even pay for that service regularly.

    People hype that guns on planes are so scary yet many people are allowed to carry onto planes regularly and do so.

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