“I’ve got to remember to pack my handgun and a couple of stout knives for my flight to Phoenix.”
Does anybody really say that? You might think so from the number of guns and knives that people try to carry onto airplanes each year. That number would be 1,813 guns that were snared by Transportation Security Administration people at airport checkpoints last year. Only 1,477 of them were loaded. That’s a big jump from 2012, when 1,556 guns were confiscated.
Going on 13 years after the term “heightened security” came into our lives, you might think that people who head for an airport where their shoes have to be x-rayed because they might contain bombs probably would deduce that weapons associated with violence — guns, knives, brass knuckles, etc. — are a no-no. But some of the dimmer light bulbs among us still haven’t caught on.
People tend to say “Oops, I forgot I had my weapon with me,” when they get caught. After the TSA takes note, and confiscates the gun or knife, it’s up to local authorities to decide where prosecution is in order. In most cases, the passenger is allowed to board the flight.
The parts of the country where toting a sidearm is more common were where a lot of the guns turned up. The airports in Atlanta (111 guns), Dallas (96), Houston (68), Phoenix (66), and Denver (51) lead the list.
Tamer parts of the country, like here, still turned up a number of guns last year. TSA said 13 were confiscated at Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport, eight were found at Dulles International, and six were taken from passengers at National Airport.