TSA Confiscates Record Number of Guns

Isn’t travel stressful enough without having to worry about shootouts at 35,000 feet?

Everyone knows that guns are a no-no in the cabin when flying commercial, right?

Wrong, apparently.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, for the year to date, through November 17, 1,931 flyers were snagged at airport security checkpoints with guns in their carry-on bags. That’s more than the total intercepted for all of 2013, and the Thanksgiving and Christmas travel crunches are still ahead of us.

According to the TSA, some travelers are unaware of the no-firearms rule; but most of the miscreants claim they simply forgot that they’d included a weapon among their carry-on items.

So, you nestled that loaded Glock alongside your shaving kit, and then forgot it was there? That excuse strains credulity.

On the other hand, apparently none of the gun-toting flyers was a would-be hijacker or intended any mid-air criminal acts. So what were they thinking?

Whatever the reasons behind travelers’ disregard of the rule, not even the most pro-gun or anti-TSA factions dispute the rule’s existence. Terrorism aside, just imagine the possible scenarios likely to unfold when air rage is combined with passengers packing heat.

So if you’re flying during the upcoming holidays—or ever, for that matter—remember to leave your firearm at home. And when you’re stuck in that long line to clear security, spare a little love for the TSA. Travel is stressful enough without having to worry about shootouts at 35,000 feet.

Reader Reality Check

What are these traveling gunslingers thinking?

This article originally appeared on

By Tim Winship

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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