TSA Reports Nearly 7,000 Guns Seized at Airports in 2023 – Bearing Arms

TSA Reports Nearly 7,000 Guns Seized at Airports in 2023 – Bearing Arms

The TSA was founded in the wake of 9/11 to try and keep terrorists off of airplanes. Thus far, they’ve never caught a single terrorist.

What they do have a track record of doing is finding guns people have in their luggage, particularly their carry-on bags. We’ve written about this a few times, especially since we tend to get a report from TSA regarding how many guns they find annually.

This year, it seems we’re looking at a new record.

It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this that Americans love guns. They love them so much, in fact, that they simply can’t seem to stop bringing loaded ones to airports.

This week, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) shared its annual data on firearms-focused fuckery, revealing that a new record had been set in terms of the sheer volume of intercepted guns. Per the data, 6,737 firearms were found at airport security checkpoints in 2023, marking the highest-ever single year total in the history of the agency.

Of 2023’s nationwide guns haul, TSA added, roughly 93 percent were loaded at the time they were found. As TSA administrator David Pekoske reminded in the agency’s news release on Wednesday, travelers are only allowed to bring guns with them if they are unloaded and properly stored in a case as part of their checked luggage. Additionally, firearms are required to be declared when checking in, prior to beginning the usual security process.

It seems Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the busiest airport in the nation, was the worst offender with 451 firearms recovered from just there.

Obviously, this isn’t great news. It’s hard to convince people that most gun owners are responsible people when more than 6,700 people are bringing firearms into the airport and apparently trying to get them on the plane.

But let’s put a few things into perspective, first.

Number one, all the alarmism about the guns being loaded is ridiculous. Oh, I’m sure the numbers are correct, but mostly because an unloaded gun is a glorified paperweight. Sure, you should treat it as if it’s loaded, but most of these guns are intended for self-defense.

It seems a lot of people just forget they have a gun in their bag. No, I don’t understand how they forget, but considering the things I forget on a regular basis, I’m in no position to really judge.

But let’s also look at the total numbers for a second here.

Take Atlanta’s 451 guns recovered in 2023.

To put that in perspective, that airport saw more than 75 million passengers travel through it in 2021 alone. That was when we still had pandemic protocols in place, which means the total number for 2023 is probably a fair bit higher.

Yet despite tens of millions of people traveling through that one airport, we have fewer than 500 firearms recovered.

Pew Research found that in 2023, 32 percent of American households had at least one firearm. That means we should at least see a couple of million guns owners at an absolute minimum travel through the Atlanta airport alone.

And 451 had guns while trying to get on an airplane.

That’s not statistical significance.

In fact, the total number of gun owners in this country versus the number of guns found by TSA in 2023 doesn’t really approach significance either.

What we’re seeing here is a lack of context. More than 6,700 guns being recovered by TSA isn’t exactly good news, but there’s a complete lack of any other information from which people can understand the issue. Nothing about how many travelers, how many gun owners, or literally anything else.

So while this isn’t great, people shouldn’t be alarmed, either.

The truth is that we had a lot of people flying and a lot more gun owners than we had at any point in time. We have a larger population, as well, of course, which means you’re going to see an increase in raw numbers.

This is where per capita numbers or percentages are far more useful as those are at least framed in a way that comes with its own context.

Unfortunately, it’s not alarmist enough for the folks at the TSA.

They can’t catch terrorists, so they have to just pretend they exist to stop people from taking guns on planes, despite that not really being much of a thing in the first place.

Originally Posted on: https://bearingarms.com/tomknighton/2024/01/12/tsa-reports-nearly-7000-guns-seized-at-airports-in-2023-n79334
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