A hat tip to “Three Shots McGee” for sharing a story about what happens in Australia when someone is found with a loaded gun in their carry-on. As he says, having a passenger show up at an airport checkpoint with a loaded gun is an “Aussie airport event that almost never happens.”
But the passenger, an American, had an American excuse:
“The man claimed he had forgotten the weapon was in his luggage but this situation could have had deadly consequences for other travelers, even if it had discharged accidentally during the flight,” said Det. A/Supt. Sykes.
Meanwhile, in the United States, TSA officers found 5,972 firearms at airport security checkpoints in 2021. That is a significant increase from the 3,257 firearms found in carry-ons in 2020 when travel was down due to the pandemic. But it’s a serious spike over the 4,432 firearms found at airport checkpoints in 2019, pre-pandemic.
One of the most common excuses people give TSA officers is “Oops, I forgot that was in there.”
In the U.S., some people face fines and criminal charges when found with guns in their carry-ons. But in many cities and in many states, due to local laws all TSA can do is tell people to put the gun back in their car, put it in their checked bag, or give it to someone (ideally, someone they know…) to take home.