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Transportation

TSA: Gun Discoveries In Baggage Up 20% In 2015 Over 2014 (networkworld.com) 500

coondoggie writes: There was a 20% increase in firearm discoveries at TSA airport checkins from 2014's total of 2,212. It's an astounding number really, but the details get worse. The TSA goes onto say 2,653 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging more than seven firearms per day. Of those, 2,198 (83%) were loaded. Firearms were intercepted at a total of 236 airports; 12 more airports than last year. Last year a TSA spokesman, when asked of the TSA has a theory on why so many more guns are being brought onboard airlines, Tweeted “The vast majority of passengers just tell law enforcement, ‘I forgot.’ We continue to remind passengers they can check them.”
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TSA: Gun Discoveries In Baggage Up 20% In 2015 Over 2014

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  • And not a singe terrorist caught.

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

      *single* damn. it.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@worl d 3 . net> on Friday January 22, 2016 @08:52AM (#51349507) Homepage

      Getting a gun on board isn't really very useful any more. The cabin door will be locked, and threatening to kill people isn't going to get them to open it. Shooting up the plane is unlikely to do enough damage to bring it down, especially since other passengers will immediately intervene. Maybe you could put a hole in a window, and force the aircraft to descend to a lower altitude and deploy oxygen masks, but that's about it.

      The real reason to keep guns off aircraft is to stop morons being a pain in the arse with them, not terrorism. The last long haul flight I was on they gave me a metal knife to cut my dinner up with, because realistically what could I do with it?

      • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

        The real reason to keep guns off aircraft is to stop morons being a pain in the arse with them, not terrorism. The last long haul flight I was on they gave me a metal knife to cut my dinner up with, because realistically what could I do with it?

        Thank you for making my point!

      • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @09:20AM (#51349649)

        Getting a gun on board isn't really very useful any more.

        But on second thoughts, while shooting up a single plane wouldn't do much, think about how much terrorism you could do by shooting up an airport - although you don't need to go through security to do that.

        • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @09:32AM (#51349705)

          In fact, the security line itself would make a great target for a terrorist. Pick a busy airport at a very busy time of year. Get a suitcase so it looks like you're going on a flight, walk to the security line and wait until you're in the middle of it. Once you've completed your task (and presumably you are dead, but that's not a problem for most terrorists), flights will be messed up for days in that airport. Time this with a couple of people in other airports and you'd mess up flights all over the country as people panic. (And then will come the "we've got to do something" legislation from politicians stripping away more of our freedom to "protect" us from everything.)

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            From what I hear, Israel figured this one out...security checkpoint isn't inside the airport, it's a checkstop one mile away where people are still in vehicles. Worst thing you can blow up is one, maybe two cars unless you are really packing a boom. Keep in mind anywhere near Israeli airports is basically a militarized zone, and that doesn't look 'American' to have guards with automatic rifles checking your stuff, but their security record is quite good considering the issues they have with their neighbour

      • Is the cabin door bullet proof? If I really wanted to bring the plane down, that's were I'd aim. Even if you didn't hit the pilots, hitting the instruments, or even the cockpit window.
  • Not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by snorris01 ( 571733 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @08:40AM (#51349461)

    It is not surprising that there are ths many attempts, or that most of them are accidental. There are a staggering number of people flying, and a high number of guns in the US.

    The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (http://www.transtats.bts.gov/) says there were 689 million passenger enplanements. You can do the math, but approximately 2,000 guns found is nowhere near a concerning number. It sounds shocking on the face of it, but with a decade of record gun sales and a strong movement for people to carry concealed, I expected for more to be found.

    • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @08:52AM (#51349503) Journal

      But so forgetful that you leave it in your carry-on accidentally?

      It's not like they changed the rule about firearms on planes recently. That kind of irresponsibility should get you on some ATF no-buy list. If you can't be bothered to be cognizant of carrying a weapon, you shouldn't carry one.

      • Well one case locally this last year was a prominent local attorney who normally uses a different laptop bag specifically for travel, but it broke as he was getting ready to leave and in his rush he grabbed his daily carry bag and forgot to remove the weapon he keeps in there for self defense. Not that I advocate off body carry, but the mistake is understandable in that example. In a rush, something goes wrong, has to grab a different bag. Forgets in his rush to remove the firearm. It happens, it does n
        • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @09:11AM (#51349615)

          It happens, it does not make one irresponsible, maybe a bit too complacent, but not necessarily irresponsible.

          I would argue that leaving a weapon such as a gun in an unsecured/uncontrolled location* and not knowing where that weapon is, is the epitome of being irresponsible.

          *You may consider it safe while it was in his own home, but once he left that location and was out and about with no clue he was carrying a weapon - well that is a different story all together.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jittles ( 1613415 )

            It happens, it does not make one irresponsible, maybe a bit too complacent, but not necessarily irresponsible.

            I would argue that leaving a weapon such as a gun in an unsecured/uncontrolled location* and not knowing where that weapon is, is the epitome of being irresponsible.

            *You may consider it safe while it was in his own home, but once he left that location and was out and about with no clue he was carrying a weapon - well that is a different story all together.

            You may well be aware you have the weapon but not think about it when traveling. I have a pair of tactical boots that I keep a knife in. I never travel with those boots. Until the one time that I did. Thankfully I remembered when retying my shoe just before going to the airport. The knife sheath on that boot is such that it probably would have made it through the scanner just fine - it would have just looked like the ankle support on the boot.

            While I don't carry that knife for self defense, it could st

            • retying my shoe just before going to the airport.

              See? A responsible weapon and tactical boot owner.

          • by Ed Tice ( 3732157 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @10:04AM (#51349873)
            If you're accustomed to carrying around a holstered weapon, it would be easy to forget that you have to do something special with it. How many people leave bottled water in their carryons? Probably 2,000 people a day! And a properly holstered pistol in the hands of a qualified carrier isn't any more dangerous. Of course the penalty for forgetting it is higher. Even easier to make the mistake if you keep it in a bag. You're thinking about so many things.
            • by driblio ( 1762236 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @10:48AM (#51350155)

              a properly holstered pistol in the hands of a qualified carrier isn't any more dangerous [than a bottle of water].

              Please hand in your weapons. For the safety of your family and all those around you.

              Liquids are banned from planes because they may be liquid explosives. Not because water is dangerous. People have every right to forget they are carrying a bottle of water. A pistol is not the same.

              Maybe you're joking... i hope so.

          • As I said, I don't care for off body carry. But if the work case goes from his Home office, to his office and is secured at those locations (even if just behind a locked door) then it is not in fact irresponsible. It is not an uncommon form of carry for those who do have to go through the security to get into courts. They are known to the Courthouse security forces, and the bag is expected to have the firearm in it, while letting the individual quickly go through the magnetometer without setting it off a
            • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

              There was no intent

              Intent doesn't count for jack squat. Only actions count.

            • by dave420 ( 699308 )

              It's not irresponsible to have a gun on your person you don't know about? Or to take said gun to an airport? Really?

        • by Yunzil ( 181064 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @10:00AM (#51349847) Homepage

          Forgets in his rush to remove the firearm. It happens, it does not make one irresponsible, maybe a bit too complacent, but not necessarily irresponsible.

          Um, being too forgetful to properly store your deadly weapon is, by definition, irresponsible. Sorry.

        • by Holi ( 250190 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @10:36AM (#51350063)
          > but the mistake is understandable in that example

          No it's not. You don't get to have mistakes with deadly weapons. That is how things like three year old's shooting themselves with your gun happen. It is irresponsible to not know where your firearm. You decide to own one your are responsible for it 24/7.
        • Not that I advocate off body carry, but the mistake is understandable in that example. In a rush, something goes wrong, has to grab a different bag. Forgets in his rush to remove the firearm. It happens, it does not make one irresponsible, maybe a bit too complacent, but not necessarily irresponsible. And it takes a felony conviction to lose the right to buy/possess.

          It certainly the fuck damn well does make one irresponsible. Guns are designed to launch projectiles that are designed to kill people, and one should never ever not know exactly where their's are. I know where every one of my pieces are, and there hasn't been a day I haven't.

          There's a lot of responsibility to owning one, and not having an idea where it is, is right up their with the unloaded guns kill the most people irresponsibility.

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by OzPeter ( 195038 )

        But so forgetful that you leave it in your carry-on accidentally?

        If you think about that prior to getting to the airport that the carryon has been sitting around somewhere in their home for long enough that the owner forgot that there was a gun in it, then I'd say the problem extends well past "guns on planes".

        To me these 2212 incidents are a clear indication that the bell curve does exist and does apply to the gun owner population - no matter how much pro-gun people speak of "responsible gun owners".

      • You have to figure that at least half of them had left their gun in their luggage before and nothing had come of it. Maybe they just assumed it was no big deal and were relying on general TSA incompetence to let the gun through again. Hell, for all we know less than 10% of the guns in carry ons were caught by the TSA. It would make sense given their bomb-detecing track record.

    • It is not surprising that there are ths many attempts, or that most of them are accidental. There are a staggering number of people flying, and a high number of guns in the US.

      Flying is also stressful for most people, at least as far as getting from the house to the airport. Worrying about time, where to go, security lines, crowds, etc. I can see why some people might forget things that should be otherwise obvious.

    • The point of the article that the number of incidents went up 20%. So, it could be statistical noise (2000 vs 2400 may not be statistically significant), or it could mean that people don't care enough to check, or more non-flyers are flying, or more non-gun owners are now owning guns, or, as you say, there are more people with concealed weapons. As usual, we don't know enough to know why.
      • I would like to thing of it as they are now catching 6% of the banned items instead of the usual 5%. They did say that gun discoveries were up 20% and previously they failed to find thing 95% of the time so now they only fail to find stuff 94% of the time.
  • Is that because... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JeffOwl ( 2858633 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @08:41AM (#51349463)
    More people are bringing guns or the TSA is getting better at finding them?
    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Regardless, it means the TSA needs more money.It also means they need more rights and people need to have less rights.

      • Regardless, it means the TSA needs more money.It also means they need more rights and people need to have less rights.

        Wow... The TSA hasn't wasted enough money already? And exactly how many terrorist events has the TSA stopped since Sept 11th? None that we know about. Every instance since has been stopped by passengers on the plane. Airport security is an arms race that is impossible to win by just throwing more money at the problem. If you'd like to give up your constitutional rights, you're welcome to do so any time you're stopped by the police. The current security program far surpasses what I believe the 4th amen

  • I live in Sweden: If ONE person here was found to have tried to bring a gun aboard a plane it would be such a sensation that it would be all over the news.
  • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @09:01AM (#51349541)
    I like how the summary implies horrible things that the majority of the guns were loaded, as if people were intending to do evil things with them. The truth is an unloaded gun is good for nothing more than a paperweight or a very inefficient club. I think this story is reflecting something: namely that more people are beginning to carry guns. What does concern me though is that this could also indicate that a lot of people new to guns are carrying them as well. You should never lose track of where your guns are; that's how guns get lost, stolen, or found(ie kids).
    • by symes ( 835608 )

      In the US a lot of people who own guns shouldn't, which is why kids are accidentally killing people, each other and the like. About 100 kids die each ear by being accidentally shot.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by craigminah ( 1885846 )
        In 2012 over 3,300 people died in accidents but that doesn't fit the left's narrative so it's ignored. If someone's killed with a knife the left will proclaim that's bad, a killing with a car will be met with the proclamation of "how horrible", but a killing where a gun is involved will end with the call to ban all guns. Doesn't make sense and it's due to a lack of understanding and fear of the unknown. http://www.cdc.gov/Motorvehicl... [cdc.gov]
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dave420 ( 699308 )

          Knives and cars are not designed solely to kill things. That's the difference. With that newly-found knowledge, go back and re-make your argument.

      • In the US a lot of people who own guns shouldn't, which is why kids are accidentally killing people, each other and the like. About 100 kids die each ear by being accidentally shot.

        I think anyone who is willing to spend the money on a gun ought to be willing to spend the money on a good safe.

    • The truth is an unloaded gun is good for nothing more than a paperweight or a very inefficient club

      You have obviously never used a Mosin-Nagant. If you have the bayonet they make an excellent pike/spear and with the metal butt stock they can make a very good club.

      • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

        The truth is an unloaded gun is good for nothing more than a paperweight or a very inefficient club

        You have obviously never used a Mosin-Nagant. If you have the bayonet they make an excellent pike/spear and with the metal butt stock they can make a very good club.

        I actually own a Mosin Nagant (receiver is stamped 1942). Unfortunately the guy I bought it from had lost the bayonet. :( In any case, I would hope that no one would really be trying to carry on a Mosin Nagant, and it's certainly pretty hard to "forget" you have one on you, as they are not light weapons. I think it's generally assumed that when people talk about firearms confiscated at TSA security, the majority of them are going to be handguns.

  • A mystery (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clickclickdrone ( 964164 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @09:17AM (#51349641)
    As a European, I continue to be utterly bemused/scared by America's obsession with owning guns. I know all the arguments that usually get trotted out, they just sound like crazy talk to me.
    • Re:A mystery (Score:5, Insightful)

      by l0n3s0m3phr34k ( 2613107 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @09:36AM (#51349727)
      Without the guns, we'd still be the Colonies.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        By which logic, you don;t need them any more, that one is over, you won.
      • So true. Look at poor Canada, or India.

    • As an American, I continue to be utterly bemused/scared by America's obsession with caring about what the Europeans think. I know all the arguments that usually get trotted out, they just sound like crazy talk to me.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Americans don't care what Europeans think. Thinking in general is considered highly suspect in America these days, even more so if done by Europeans.

    • As a European, I continue to be utterly bemused/scared by America's obsession with owning guns. I know all the arguments that usually get trotted out, they just sound like crazy talk to me.

      Why exactly does it scare you from a continent away? Do you worry that armed American citizens are going to storm the beaches of Europe?

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Obviously he is referring to the idea of a society where people feel the need to own and carry deadly weapons regularly. In western Europe it generally isn't necessary and the idea of living with that kind of fear and paranoia is not at all appealing.

  • "...2,198 (83%) were loaded."

    "...The vast majority of passengers just tell law enforcement, ‘I forgot.’"

    To address the other 17%, you forgot to do what? Load the damn thing?

    I mean hell, if you're going to be THAT forgetful as a gun owner, might as well not even carry around a worthless steel brick.

  • by Trachman ( 3499895 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @09:35AM (#51349719) Journal

    There is approximately one billion of passengers in United States, an approximate number which includes domestic, international and private aviation helicopters and planes.

    Let's crunch some numbers: 2,700 handguns were discovered for one billion boardings equals to approximately one gun per 370,000 passengers.

    Let's take into the prospective:

    On average, statistically, in this country there is 1.1 weapon per every person. We do not break down by the type of gun or passenger, but three forgetful citizens out of one million is a really really low number.

    Here are some sobering conclusions:

    1. None of the passengers had intention of using the weapon. Why? Because nobody used. Because if they wanted to they would have.
    2. Even if there would be no TSA, the safety would not deteriorate or decrease. Metal detectors manned by the private screeners could detect all the forgotten weapons. More: currently cockpit doors are locked as such, a handgun inside the plane is pretty much useless. Yes: you can shoot a hole or kill a passenger or two, but the rest of passengers will tear you apart.

    So it all boils down to how the question is presented:

    " Why so many guns were brought to the airport".

    The real questions should have been following:

    Question: "In a country with 400 million guns only less than 3,000 guns are brought to the airport. All of the owners meant to leave the gun in a checked in bag? Is existence, the cost, and the false sense of security of TSA justified?"

    The real answer: "No. One segment fee of $5.60 is an evidence of mind boggling waste and incompetence. This $5.60 will only increase in the future. TSA should be disbanded and handling of the security should be up to the airports and the carriers".

     

  • "I forgot" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thesandtiger ( 819476 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @09:45AM (#51349775)

    "I forgot" as an excuse for bringing a firearm on a plane should mean you are instantly put on a no-buy and no-fly list, and that any other guns you own must be turned over to authorities.

    If you're so irresponsible that you can't remember that you're carrying a firearm, let alone a loaded one, onto a plane, then you're far, far, far too irresponsible to be trusted with a firearm under any circumstances. It very likely means you "forget" to put the guns properly in a safe or "forget" rules of responsible use, or "forget" who the hell knows what.

    If you're so paranoid about terrorists that you'll try and sneak a firearm onto a plane "just in case" (and then cowardly enough to lie about why you did it, to boot) then you're probably not mentally stable enough to be a responsible firearm owner and the same rules should apply - no-buy, no-fly and your guns are confiscated.

    I don't have a problem with responsible, sane gun ownership, but in no way, shape, or form does bringing a firearm onto a plane in your carry-on unless you're an air marshal, intersect with either "responsible" or "sane."

    • Re:"I forgot" (Score:4, Insightful)

      by offrdbandit ( 1331649 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @10:26AM (#51349999)
      "I'm [insert BS disenfranchised class here]" as an excuse for not having an ID should mean you are instantly put on a no-vote and no-welfare list, and any property you own must be turned over to the authorities. If you're so irresponsible that you can't take the time to get an ID, let alone a free one from your state, then you're far, far, far too irresponsible to be trusted to make decisions that impact our national laws under any circumstance. It very likely means you are too "disenfranchised" to have coherent opinions on meaningful issues, or simply vote for whomever will dis-"disenfranchised" you buy giving you free crap, or who the hell knows what. I could go on, but I think you get the idea...
    • Ah, I see what you are doing there...

      Proposition A) We should never let crazy or stupid people own or carry firearms, just like we shouldn't let them reproduce, vote, operate power tools, drive, teach, preach, or work in government.

      Proposition B) It is crazy and stupid to own a firearm! Studies show that you are more likely to shoot a relative than a criminal (even if that relative DID "need killin'"). They are expensive. They serve no useful purpose except to enable an individual to hurt someone or punc

    • "I forgot" as an excuse for bringing a firearm on a plane should mean you are instantly put on a no-buy and no-fly list, and that any other guns you own must be turned over to authorities...

      OK, calm the hell down already.

      In the larger scheme of things, the car you and the other 200 million Americans drive every day kills 35,000 people every year, and when you "forget" to use your turn signal and cause an accident, no one is demanding you ride a fucking bicycle for the rest of your life.

      We're human. Humans make mistakes. And statistically speaking, the mistakes being made are by a very small percentage of the gun-toting population, regardless of how sensationalized we want to portray this.

  • by rgbatduke ( 1231380 ) <rgb@phy.[ ]e.edu ['duk' in gap]> on Friday January 22, 2016 @10:18AM (#51349959) Homepage

    ... we could all just fly naked. Think of the advantages! No more worries about concealed weapons that are any larger than will comfortably fit in an orifice. An opportunity to really get to know your neighbor. Necessarily improved climate control -- no more flights that are too cold or too warm. And a complete lack of literalist religious folk on the aircraft, because for most of them appearing naked in public is an even bigger sin than allowing infidels to spread lies about the one true faith or failing to bring on the apocalypse so Jesus can return to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven.

    The merely prudish would, of course, take the train, which would be a welcome burst of new business for alternative transportation. Throw in a little alcohol and a whole new meaning of "in-flight entertainment" could emerge as a new cultural norm. The increased happiness among fliers could lead us to world peace!

    It's the perfect solution. At least as long as they have one of those boxes that say "your body must fit inside of this box in order to take this flight" -- for humans...

    rgb

  • "when asked of the TSA has a theory on why so many more guns are being brought onboard airlines"

    I would thought that preventing people from taking guns "onboard airlines" was sort of the sine qua non for a TSA checkpoint.

    I suppose the sentence should be "why so many guns are being brought into security checklanes". Or maybe not, as TSA has been shown to be an abject farce.

  • by ai4px ( 1244212 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @12:48PM (#51351181)
    Let me pose this perspective. The number went up 20% because the TSA got shamed last year and is looking harder. I suggest that the number of guns carried onto aircraft is relatively constant recently since relatively few states have passed CWP laws in the past few years.

    So given that there are 7 guns on airplanes everyday, can we assume that in years prior that was a good rule of thumb?

    Why then are there not 7 highjackings every day?

    Why are there not 7 air rage shootings everyday?

    Could it be because most people carrying weapons aren't bad guys? They just want protection and don't mean to cause any harm? Certainly if they wanted to cause harm they could have.

  • by k6mfw ( 1182893 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @01:13PM (#51351411)

    Talking with someone back then who said when he checks in baggage, he wants to carry on his pistol as valuable possession not to get lost in baggage. This was before 9-11 and I don't think they objected. I may have not remembered some details, I think airline would at least request it be placed with pilot.

    Also before 9-11 another who loves to cook and he always brings his knives as carry on as these are expensive and doesn't want to get lost in baggage. Those were the days!

  • by superdave80 ( 1226592 ) on Friday January 22, 2016 @03:36PM (#51352599)
    They need to have their guns and rights to purchase and carry guns revoked for one year, and then pass a gun safety class to have your guns returned. If you can't be bothered to even remember that you are currently carrying a gun, you are in no condition to be using guns.

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