July Air Travel is Still Down 75% From 2019, But Gun Confiscation is Up
On Monday, The Transporation Security Administration reported traveling is down 75 percent, but gun confiscations are up, according to CNBC.
The TSA has found three times as many guns in passengers' carry-on bags compared to last year. The agency isn't sure why the number of gun confiscations is up. Jeffrey Price, air travel safety expert and a professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, believes higher gun sales in recent months could be the main factor. Firearm background checks increased 80 percent from a year ago, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Last month, the TSA found 15 guns per 1 million people, compared with 5.1 guns per 1 million people in July 2019. 80 percent of the guns were loaded.
“TSA is diligently working to ensure our employees and passengers are safe and secure while traveling during a pandemic, and yet we are noticing a significant increase in loaded firearms coming into checkpoints,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said. “Travelers must understand that firearms are prohibited items at airports and in the passenger cabins of aircraft. As hard as we are working to mitigate other risks at this time, no one should be introducing new ones.”
The TSA allows firearms to be contained in checked luggage if they are unloaded, declared at check-in, and ammunition is packed separately. The TSA is recommending that penalties for violating firearm rules should start at $2,050 for unloaded guns and $4,100 for loaded guns.