Sunday, September 27, 2015

TSA Finds Record Number of Guns



During the week of September 17, a record of 67 firearms were found by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the carry-on luggage of passengers, being the previous record of 65 in 2013. “For the most recent week, ending in Sept. 24, TSA said it found 64 firearms in carry-on bags at airports. Of those, 55 were loaded and 22 had a round chambered” (Reuters).

In the past year, over 2,000 firearms have been detected in unchecked luggage this year. Yet this figure raises concern since banned weapons were not detected in 67 of the 70 checkpoints.

Currently, a passenger is subjected to criminal charges as well as civil penalties up to $11,000 for having a firearm in their carry-on at a checkpoint. Do you find this punishment to be enough, especially with all the clear advertisement? 

I find it unsettling that despite the recent push for more gun control, the number of checkpoint incidences has increased. Do you think airports should create stricter laws for firearms? Is it too extreme to completely ban firearms from airports? 

Link to article here.

4 comments:

Justin Chan said...

Thank you Anna for your original post. I think this article is very interesting because it poses many questions. First off, I believe that the clear advertisement justifies the civil penalties of up to $11,000. Thinking in the security team's point of view, having passengers bring guns poses a lot of danger; thus, strict laws must be made in order to establish the zero tolerance of guns in an airport and plane. With regards to Anna's point that gun control and checkpoint incidences are increasing, I agree that the situation is unsettling because one would think that having more gun control limits access to guns and the number of guns on the street. It seems that with more gun control, people are unwilling to let go of their existing guns, justifying their bringing of guns with them everywhere they go. As a result, it may not be a bad idea to create even stricter punishments for firearms.
Can we reach a consensus in which people can still transport firearms without allowing these owners to bring them into the airport and plane?

As a side note, here is a related article that explores the TSA's failure in finding firearms at checkpoints: http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/01/politics/tsa-failed-undercover-airport-screening-tests/
Do you think increasing airport security will help scare more people from bringing firearms? Do you think our current airport security is too much? How can we balance security and personal freedom?

Tara Young said...

I agree with Justin that airports should enforce stricter laws and punishments for firearms in airports. It is a well known and widespread knowledge that guns especially are prohibited from being taken on airplanes. Therefore, it is more likely that they are brought on with ill intent. I do not think that it is too extreme to completely ban firearms from airports, unless the person is authorized to carry a gun, like a police officer. In response to Justin's question, I think that people should still be able to transport firearms without allowing them to be brought on a plane with the owner. One option is the firearms can be shipped to the destination; therefore, the owner does not have access to it during the travel period. I do not think that increasing airport security will help scare more people from bringing firearms because it is a very serious act, so the person already knows the consequences. As stated before, the person may have ill intent, so they would not be dissuaded by slightly stronger punishments. I do not think that our current airport security is too much because it is meant to ensure the safety of the passengers as much as possible. People should be willing to give up a little personal freedom for their safety. Also, they are not required to travel by airplane, so if they do not want to give up any of their freedom due to security, then they do not have to.

Abhishek Paramasivan said...

I agree with the rest of the commentators on this issue. Because it is so widely advertised, an $11,000 fine seems fairly reasonable even if the firearms found weren't always banned weapons, they were still firearms. While banning firearms from airports, with authorized personal exemption, seems like a good idea, I don't think it will work with the current ideals in the United States. Many pro-2nd amendment activists would display animosity against the law, and overly conservative ideals in congress would not allow for any major legislation to be passed. If stronger restrictions were put in place, I think they would be semi effective, but not as effective as people who are hoping for change are expecting out the restrictions. Some people will continue to try exercise their 2nd amendment right and try to end up making a huge mess out of things

Cami Nemschoff said...

Like the others have stated, airports undoubtedly should pose stricter restrictions on guns at airports. In this post 9/11 era the trend for airport security seemed to be going up but in recent years has been decreasing. I think deleting rules such as having to take off your shoes is acceptable but allowing guns is something that should not be. If items such as large shampoo bottles, tweezers, and water are not allowed, why should guns be? The $11,000 fine is high enough for people to not bring one, but in order to ensure that no gun ever sees an airplane they should raise the punishment price. Like Anna stated, the 67 guns found is very unsettling. Throughout the day, TSA is often given fake items showing up in people's luggage in order to ensure they are focused and paying attention. However, according to this study (Which if you read is not 100% relaible but it still shows my point) http://blog.tsa.gov/2010/12/70-detection-failure-rate-being.html a large percentage of these fakes and real images are not detected. What do you suggest the country does in order to ensure all guns and weapons are accurately detected?