So You're in a Hurry to Get to the Plane and You Just Forgot You Put a Loaded Gun in Your Carry-on?

Easy to overlook in a carry-on? One of the eight confiscated firearms at George Bush.
Easy to overlook in a carry-on? One of the eight confiscated firearms at George Bush. Photo by TSA
In the period of one week, TSA officials at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport have confiscated eight guns in passengers' carry-on luggage.

Six of which were loaded.

When the travelers were asked why they did this, the most common answer security officers got was "they forgot."

According to a TSA press release, the confiscated firearms included three 9 mm handguns, two of them loaded; three .380 ACP pistols, two of them loaded; one loaded .357 Magnum, and one loaded .40 S&W pistol.

In all of 2020, the TSA release said they have discovered a total of 92 guns. So this one week between September 20 and September 27 accounts for 11.5 percent of all the guns detected at the airport so far this year.  As the TSA press release noted, this is particularly disturbing since so many fewer people are flying right now because of the pandemic.

Travelers are allowed to transport their guns on airplanes but never in the cabins and only if they are in the proper safety containers in checked luggage and declared at the check-in counter.

As for those eight people who "forgot"? According to the TSA each case will be reviewed and offenders could face a civil penalty ranging from $2,000 to $13,000. Also, they'll have their Trusted Traveler status and TSA Precheck expedited screening benefits lifted for some unspecified amount of time.

Planning a trip and don't want to be away from your guns too long? Check in with the TSA for info on how you can do this without incurring a fine or loss of privileges.  
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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing