85% of record-number of guns confiscated by TSA in 2012 were loaded

Pro-gun advocates never miss a chance to talk about how responsible gun owners are, though there are enough examples that show how  false that theory is.  The Sandy Hook shooter’s mom was a gun owner, and we know that turned out, after he took his mom’s gun and killed twenty children.  Then there are the record number of people the TSA catches trying to carry usually-loaded guns on planes.

Then there’s the post- Sandy Hook incident where a 6th grade student managed to bring a gun to school, and a day later when a concealed gun owner lost his gun in a movie theater and failed to warn authorities. The loaded gun was found by kids.

The TSA has now reported that 2012 was a record year for confiscating guns at US airports.  What kind of idiot would bring a gun to an airport, other than a terrorist?

As if bringing a gun to an airport isn’t dumb enough, many of the guns were loaded, with some even having rounds in their chamber.

Oh, and people apparently bringing grenades too, though fortunately they’re inert.  But seriously, who brings a grenade, inert or otherwise, on a plane?

Grenades 12-28-12

Responsible gun owners?  NBC News:

Travelers have attempted to carry more than 1,500 firearms through U.S. airports and on board airplanes in 2012, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

As of Friday, TSA’s gun tally sat at 1,527 — 1,295 of which were loaded — and this week’s count will likely bring the final tally just past 1,550 before the year ends.

Once a weapon is found, the TSA’s job ends, David Castelveter, the agency’s director of external communications, told Skift. “We are not an arresting authority. We don’t have detention authority. If somebody comes through with a weapon the immediate procedure is to call the local authority,” he said. “There are some states where they just tell you to take it back to the car; in others you’ll end up at Rikers.”

Oh and top six airports for gun confiscations are in the south or Arizona. Figured.

tsa guns airports


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • Outspoken1

    “Loaded’ is not the same as ‘chambered’. Technically, (and I am afraid TSA did not use the correct terminology) a ‘loaded’ weapon is one with cartridges (commonly called a bullet) in the weapon (either in a magazine or ‘clip’ or cylinder). This means a cartridge still needs to be ‘chambered’ (the cartridge moved into the action/end of the barrel to make the weapon ready to fire). A chambered weapon is ready to shoot. Most of the confiscated guns were loaded – not chambered. OK, it is a technicality, but does explain why so many guns had cartridges in them.

    The law often differs whether a weapon was ‘loaded’ or ‘chambered.’ This is especially true during hunting season. Colorado’s economy in many rural areas gets a big boost during hunting season, so one tends to learn all of the above.

    BTW – background checks to purchase a weapon are now running 9 days+ due to the HUGE backlog (caused by HUGE demand) here in Colorado. Colorado closed the ‘Gun Show Loophole’ after the massacre at Columbine High school in 1999. The Tanner Gun Show was in town last weekend http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/12/29/lone-protester-pickets-tanner-gun-show-in-denver/ and had record crowds and purchases. Newspaper reported today that background check which prior to Sandy Point Massacre were taking 2 to 4 hours are now backed up for over a week.

    People should also know that the gun buyer pays a portion of the background check – but not all of it. A portion of the background check is subsidized (dare I say ‘entitlement!!’) in each state’s police/investigative branch (for instance, the Colorado Bureau of Investigations). You may want to write your legislators about cutting off this ‘entitlement’ to the gun purchasing population.

  • Mr obvious

    Why would someone take a gun to an airport?… Hmmm lets see… Cause it’s America that’s why it’s our constitutional right to bear arms to protect ourselves from criminals and crazy people…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000111133695 Lisa Johnson

    Interesting how all of these airports are in the southeast section of the country.

  • Litterbox

    Ive carried a gun for years and its never just up and shot someone nor has it just gone off on its own. Contrary to popular belief, a human being is responsible for every person shot.

  • RepubAnon

    The real issue is that gun ownership advocates don’t do a risk analysis: say 90% gun owners are responsible, while 10 gun owners are careless. Let’s also say that there’s a 1% chance of a careless gun owner’s weapon discharging accidentally each day, which works out to a one in a thousand chance of that owner’s gun going off accidentally – each day.

    In 30 days, at 1/1000 per day, the odds of an accidental discharge during that month is 3% calculated as (1-0.001)to the 30th power.

    In a year, that careless gun owner’s chances of an accidental discharge sometime during that year rise to 30.6%. In 5 years, that number rises to 84%. In 20 years, the odds are close to 100%

    The point here is that each day, you’re rolling the dice in one way or another – and the real issue isn’t whether having a gun would be useful if confronted by a bad guy. The real calculation is whether the risks of carrying the gun (accidental discharge, shooting the wrong person, having the bad guy take the gun away from you, getting shot by someone that felt threatened, etc.) are less than the risk of being unarmed (or, say, carrying pepper spray).

    There aren’t any studies that I’m aware of measuring all the various risks – all federal funding for such studies was cut by the Republicans at the request of the NRA. However, how many people really live in neighborhoods so dangerous that the odds of needing a gun for self defense in a single year are greater than the risk of injury from carrying a gun?

    (P.S.: If you feel the need to sleep with a loaded gun in reach, with the safety off and a round chambered – shouldn’t you first look to your perimeter defenses? If the neighborhood’s that dangerous, you need bars on the windows, steel-reinforced doors, motion sensors – and probably 24/7 sentries.)

  • unclemike

    Did they find any of these guns in someone’s shoe?

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