TSA Finds 165 Firearms in Carryon Bags Over Last Two-Weeks

All of the firearms pictured were discovered over the last week. See complete lists below.
All of the firearms pictured were discovered over the last week. See complete lists below.

By the TSA

TSA officers discovered 165 firearms over the last two weeks in carry-on bags around the nation.

Of the 165firearms discovered, 144 were loaded and 56 had a round chambered. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.

Travelers bringing firearms to the checkpoint can be arrested and fined up to $11,000.

Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure. 

Transporting Firearms and Ammunition

You may transport unloaded firearms in a locked hard-sided container as checked baggage only.

Declare the firearm and/or ammunition to the airline when checking your bag at the ticket counter.

The container must completely secure the firearm from being accessed. Locked cases that can be easily opened are not permitted.

Be aware that the container the firearm was in when purchased may not adequately secure the firearm when it is transported in checked baggage.

All of the firearms pictured were discovered over the last week. See complete lists below.
All of the firearms pictured were discovered over the last week. See complete lists below.

Firearms

  • When traveling, comply with the laws concerning possession of firearms as they vary by local, state and international governments.
  • If you are traveling internationally with a firearm in checked baggage, please check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information and requirements prior to travel.
  • Declare each firearm each time you present it for transport as checked baggage. Ask your airline about limitations or fees that may apply.
  • Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only. Only the passenger should retain the key or combination to the lock unless TSA personnel request the key to open the firearm container to ensure compliance with TSA regulations.
  • Firearm parts, including magazines, clips, bolts and firing pins, are prohibited in carry-on baggage, but may be transported in checked baggage.
  • Replica firearms, including firearm replicas that are toys, may be transported in checked baggage only.
  • Rifle scopes are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage.

Contact the TSA Contact Center with questions you have regarding TSA firearm regulations and for clarification on what you may or may not transport in your carry-on or checked baggage.

United States Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44, firearm definitions includes: any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; and any destructive device.

As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm.

Ammunition

  • Ammunition is prohibited in carry-on baggage, but may be transported in checked baggage.
  • Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm. Read the requirements governing the transport of ammunition in checked baggage as defined by 49 CFR 175.10 (a)(8).
  • Small arms ammunition, including ammunition not exceeding .75 caliber and shotgun shells of any gauge, may be carried in the same hard-sided case as the firearm.

Checkpoint and checked baggage screening acts as a deterrent to keep those with ill will from attempting to cause catastrophic damage to an aircraft.

From left to right, these items were discovered over the last two weeks in carry-on bags at ABE, BUR, DEN, IAH and SNA. While all of these items are prohibited in carry-on bags, they may be packed in checked baggage.
From left to right,  these items were discovered over the last two weeks in carry-on bags at ABE, BUR, DEN, IAH and SNA.

While all of these items are prohibited in carry-on bags, they may be packed in checked baggage.

In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly in carry-on bags, our officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, stun guns, small pocketknives and many other prohibited items too numerous to note.

Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds.

Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested.

This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home.

Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions; that’s for the law enforcement officer to decide.

In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items.

TSA officers discovered 165 firearms over the last two weeks in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 165 firearms discovered, 144 were loaded and 56 had a round chambered.TSA officers discovered 165 firearms over the last two weeks in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 165 firearms discovered, 144 were loaded and 56 had a round chambered.

*In order to provide a timely weekly update, this data is compiled from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly from what is reported in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will be actual numbers and not estimates.