Flying with a Firearm
It is probably no surprise to most, that air travel has declined significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic started. However, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), those who are still traveling by air have one thing in common. Which is, many of them are forgetting their guns in carry-on luggage at security checkpoints. Even though this is something that has happened periodically in the past, now the problem is at an all-time high.
According to a National Press Release from Washington, TSA Officers detected firearms in carry-on bags at a rate three times higher this past July. When compared to the same month in 2019, was lower even though passenger volume was significantly higher.
TSA Officers found 15.3 guns for every million people screened in July 2020, compared to 5.1 per million people in July of the previous year. “There has been a significant increase in loaded guns at checkpoints,” said TSA David Pekoske. “Screeners are already working on conditions of heightened risks and that no one should be introducing new ones” according to Pekoske.
“Even more concerning is that 80% of the firearms coming into the checkpoint are loaded, and it’s just an accident waiting to happen,” Pekoske said.
The potential Federal civil penalty for bringing a firearm into a secured area starts at $2,050 ($4,100 if the firearm is loaded). In addition, individuals who violate firearm travel rules could have Trust Traveler Status and TSA PreCheck expedited screening benefits revoked for some duration of time. The duration of the disqualification depends upon the seriousness of the offense.
Now you ask, what’s going on? While the airlines have seen a huge decline in travelers the exact opposite is true for the firearms industry. Gun sales are surging by the millions in reaction to the pandemic. This means millions of guns are being sold to first time gun owners and the majority aren’t familiar with the rules. Ignorance is never an excuse for breaking a gun law, but that’s what could be occurring.
Tips for Flying with Firearms
In John Correia’s video titled “Flying with Firearms is Simple if You Know How”, he outlines some of the simple but useful tips on how to travel while exercising your Second Amendment rights. Some of the tips he mentioned includes:
- Make sure you review the regulation of your airline before traveling, as different carriers can have different rules. For example, some airlines allow ammunition loaded in the magazine while some don’t.
- Make sure you are familiar with TSA regulations regarding traveling with a firearm. Print the Carrier/TSA regulation pages or have it readily accessible, so you can refer to it quickly.
- Hang around the checking counter for a few minutes in case the TSA officer wants you to open your case. This might save you the trip through the checkpoint.
- Firearms must be unloaded and secured in a hard-sided locked case.
- Make sure your license and firearms are in compliance with local laws at your origin and destination.
You can check out John’s full video in the link below
As we gear up for holiday travel, we urge you to be aware of all local laws pertaining to both air travel and your destination. Between 2014 and 2019, close to 500 people have been arrested at JFK and LaGuardia airports, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office. Many of the defendants were unaware that they were breaking the law by bringing their guns to New York City. The last thing you would want for a NYC getaway trip is to be handcuffed at the airport. Probably not the Christmas present you wanted for you or your family…
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The Information given on this website is not legal advice. The information that may be posted in any format on this website is of a general nature and should not be construed in a person’s own situation as legal advice. If you so desire legal advice, please consult an attorney in a one on one setting in order to get legal advice that pertains to your unique circumstances.