Travel | August 11, 2020 12:35 pm

Three Times as Many Passengers Are Trying to Board Planes With Guns During the Pandemic

A new TSA report suggests we have things besides the coronavirus to worry about

TSA line at Orlando International Airport
Leave your gun at home.
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Fewer people are flying this year because of the pandemic.

But more people who are flying are trying to bring on firearms, according to a rather scary new report from the Transportation Security Administration. According to a TSA press release, firearms in carry-on bags are being discovered at a rate three times higher this past July than in the same month in 2019, and 80 percent of the discovered firearms are loaded.

All this with 75 percent fewer passengers. Given that the security agency misses a majority of weapons going through checkpoints, the number of carry-on firearm attempts might be a lot larger.

As TSA Administrator David Pekoske rightly put it, “Travelers must understand that firearms are prohibited items at airports and in the passenger cabins of aircraft. As hard as we are working to mitigate other risks at this time, no one should be introducing new ones.”

Oddly, guns in your bag aren’t necessarily going to land you in jail. Civil penalties for bringing firearms in your carry-on range from $2,050 to $13,669, with trusted traveler status and TSA PreCheck expedited screening benefits revoked “for a period of time.”

As the blog One Mile at a Time suggests:

I understand people have varying beliefs on gun ownership in this country, but shouldn’t there be some level of personal accountability? Do people not know they can’t bring a gun on a plane? Because if so, they probably shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun. Or are people so careless with their guns that they “forget” they can’t take them onboard a plane? Because if so, they probably shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun. Or are people trying to see if they can sneak onto a plane with a gun? Because if so, they probably shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun.

There is a process for bringing in a firearm on a checked bag — the TSA requirements are outlined here.

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We think our friends on Instagraham understand, but it may be time to talk about this s'more…firearms are not allowed in your carry-on bag. We don't want to sound mallow-dramatic but even with reduced passenger volumes, the number of firearm catches is WAY up. ⠀ Not only can bringing a gun make you choco-LATE for your flight, it can be the fire-pits. Civil financial penalty for bringing an unloaded gun to a checkpoint is $2,050 and it starts at $4,100 if the gun is loaded. ⠀ Compared to July 2019, in 2020 TSA officers detected guns in carry-on bags at a rate 3X higher, despite lower passenger volume. In July 2019 our impressive officers detected 5.1 guns per million travelers. In 2020 it was up to 15.3 per million travelers. Not to mention more than 80% of guns detected at checkpoints are loaded! 😬 ⠀ Travelers are allowed to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Check out the link in bio for more info on traveling with firearms and ammunition. And if you’re traveling with your marshmallow gun, better of keeping that in your checked bag too! ⠀ #NationalSmoresDay #smores #smorestime #prohibiteditems  #airportsecurity #firearms #protips #traveltips101 #traveltips #TSA #instatravel #flyers

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