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Confiscated Guns Go Up as Airline Travel goes Down

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, many of them are forgetting their guns in carry-on luggage at security checkpoints. Even though this is something that has happened from time to time in the past, now the problem is at an all-time high.

According to a National Press Release from Washington earlier this year, TSA Officers detected firearms in carry-on bags at a rate three times higher this past July than the same month in 2019 even though passenger volume is significantly lower. 

TSA Information

TSA Officers found 15.3 guns for every million people screened in July 2020, compared with 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 to civil penalties, individuals who violate rules regarding traveling with firearms could have Trusted Traveler status and TSA PreCheck expedited screening benefits revoked for some duration of time. The duration of the disqualification will depend upon the seriousness of the offense and if there is a repeated history of violations.

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.

Additional TSA Travel Info

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 to make sure you can 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 at the very least have it readily accessible in case you need to refer to them at the airport.
  • 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 you 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…

FLP Benefits

All Premium FLP Members have access to the My FLP App, a very useful guide to assisting you with travel plans. My FLP App gives you information that you need when travelling to different states with a firearm. My FLP App provides all this information with an easy-to-use User Interface. Laws are updated frequently!

If you have a use of weapons incident and you are a premium member you are covered in all 50 states. Firearms Legal Protection is just a call away. If you are one of our basic individual members and plan to travel outside your home state, please call Customer Service at (844) 357-9400 to discuss upgrading your plan to make sure you are protected as you travel.


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.