Guns discovered at airport checkpoints on the rise

An editorial from The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Some readers may have been surprised to read that a loaded .32-caliber handgun was confiscated from a woman’s carry-on luggage at Tri-State Airport in Ceredo this week.

Passenger screening for commercial air travel has been in place since the 1970s, and with the increased airport security since 9/11, Transportation Security Administration officers search through bags for pocket knives or anything remotely resembling a weapon.

How do you miss that memo?

But believe it or not, the number of guns detected at checkpoints across the nation is on the rise, the TSA reports. The agency’s officers found 1,813 firearms in carry-on bags in 2013, up 16.5 percent from the year before. More than 80 percent were loaded.

Through the first few months of this year, the TSA already has discovered 524 handguns, including the incident at Tri-State. In that case, the woman was detained and missed her original flight. She was able to fly out later, but the pistol along with another loaded magazine and a set of brass knuckles were confiscated.

We suspect that in most of these incidents, the passengers just forgot about the weapon. But in this day and age, that is not much of an excuse…

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