Everyone knows it's illegal to carry a gun on a plane; right? Then why does the TSA seize more than a thousand guns every year at airport checkpoints; a number that has been steadily rising since 2005?
Some passengers hide their guns; agents have found weapons hidden in carry-on bags, purses, and even a cassette tape player. Other passengers are far more brazen, a man in California was found with a loaded pistol on his person and three other loaded firearms in his possession!
Texas is the worst offender with five airports among the top 12 in the country. Texas TSA screeners collected more than half of the 537 from the top dozen airports. Other airports topping this list were in Florida and Arizona; but Atlanta secured the #1 spot with 96 seizures in 2012!
While the most of the guns confiscated are in large Southern airports; small Western airports boast the highest percentage of guns per the amount of passengers. Screeners in Twin Falls, Idaho reported intercepting .0035% passengers carrying guns, while .0085% of passengers flying out of Roswell, New Mexico tried to bring a gun on their flight.
If a passenger absolutely must travel with their firearm, airlines require special paperwork is filled out and the gun must be properly secured in checked bags.
Not all people caught with weapons at airport security are arrested. Procedures when TSA finds a gun depend on local laws. In some cases, agents simply hand the gun back and tell the owner to leave it their car.