Tuesday, June 12, 2018

TSA Discovers Over 100 Pistols May 14-20 2018 in Carry-ons

The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) discovered 101 pistols in carry-on luggage at TSA covered airports in the United States during the week of 14-20 May, 2018.  The above collage of 27 pistols pictures are a sample of those found.

The characteristics of the pistols found included caliber, make, and model for most of the pistols.  Seven pistols did not have a caliber listed.

9mm pistols were the clear favorite, with 43 of the 94 pistols being in 9mm. Another 23 were in .380 caliber. 9x19 and 9x17 (to use the European designation, made up 66 of the 94 pistols found. There were 7 .45 caliber guns, 6 .38 revolvers, 6 .40 caliber pistols, 3 .357 magnums, 2 .22 LR, 2 .32 caliber Kel-Tec semi-autos (one with a crimson trace laser), 1 .22 magnum North American
Arms mini revolver, and 1 Glock 20 10mm.

My vote for the most unusual goes to the unloaded Colt Woodsman discovered at O'Hare International Airport (ORD).  Ernest Hemingway favored the Colt as a carry gun for the big city, because of its accuracy and ease of use. Maybe someone in Chicago was a fan.

The quality of the pistols found suggest most were taken from people who can legally carry them in most places. There are over 16 million people with carry permits in the United States, and there are 13 states where no carry permit is required.

While the number may be increasing, last year about 4,000 pistols were found in carry-on luggage. That may seem like a lot, until you realize it is one pistol found for every 194,000 passengers passing through the TSA checkpoints that year.

When you reach those numbers, you start getting into the rare, but bound to happen, category.

Everyone makes mistakes, no one is perfect. Given enough time and actions, everyone makes an error. An executive is interrupted by a family emergency, just as he has decided to remove the pistol from his briefcase, before a trip. His mind registers that he did, but he did not, and then gets rushed to catch his flight.

A helpful teen puts mothers pistol back in her purse, and forgets to tell her before she takes off to the airport.

There are many ways in which mistakes can be made. I found a full box of .22 ammunition once, inside a computer bag I took to a conference. The ammo did not come back with me.

While many find the idea of misplacing a pistol unbelievable, try doing something every day for 530 years, and never making a mistake. That is the ratio of error that one in 194,000 compares to. We do not know how many pistols go through without being detected.

Most of these errors are investigated and recognized for what they are: honest mistakes. Sometimes fines are imposed, sometimes not. Much depends on where the discovery occurs. In New York, there will be considerable trouble. In Alaska, more sanity is likely.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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