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How Many Guns Actually Get On Planes?

TSA baggage screener
Andrew Burton, Getty Images

There is not a more dangerous weapon to have onboard an airplane than a gun. Discharged at high altitude, it would cause immediate decompression and a dangerous situation for all the passengers. It’s possible that hundreds of loaded handguns could be making it aboard commercial flights every day.

Last week, Transportation Security Administration baggage screeners unknowingly permitted the vice president of the New Orleans Hornets, Joshua Richardson, to board a flight to Newark, New Jersey, with a loaded .38 caliber pistol in his carry-on baggage. It was not discovered until he attempted to board a flight back to New Orleans.

In another incident, a firefighter who forgot about the gun in her purse was allowed to pass through TSA officers and board a plane. When she realized her mistake, the firefighter made the gun known to embarrassed authorities.

Congressman John Mica (R-Fla.), says that these mistakes made by the TSA are a true threat to airline security. “Unfortunately the reports I get, it’s not just this one weapon, it’s hundreds of items every day,” Mica said. “It can’t be tolerated.”

TSA screens nearly two million people every day, including their carry-on and checked luggage, and they find about four firearms every day at airport checkpoints. This year alone, travelers have attempted to carry nearly 1,100 weapons through security.

The agency adds that a full investigation into the two incidents that happened last week is being conducted.

[ABC News]

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