2022 will be a year where weapon confiscations at Orlando International Airport (MCO) will be at record highs. In the United States, this is a national situation, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is raising the maximum fine to $15,000 for attempting to breach carry-on restrictions – and loss of PreCheck privileges for at least five years.
Record number of firearms seizure
According to a December 16, 2022 statement with the above chart and Simple Flying reporting, at least 6,301 firearms have been intercepted at TSA checkpoints in 2022. This is a record number and increasing risk
Furthermore, according to a Fox 35 Orlando report, 154 passengers attempted to bring a firearm to carry onto their commercial flight just at Orlando International Airport alone. Yet other passengers have attempted to bring knives, tasers, and other hand-carried items like baseball bats and hockey sticks as carry-on luggage. In the words of TSA Administrator David Pekoske;
Firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags at the checkpoint and onboard aircraft. When a passenger brings a firearm to the checkpoint, this consumes significant security resources and poses a potential threat to transportation security, in addition to being very costly for the passenger.
In each incident, the security line is stalled until the incident is satisfactorily resolved. Therefore, attempting to bring a firearm into an airplane cabin is not a good idea.
Or, as TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz advised in a November 3, 2022, TSA statement;
“Don’t let bringing a gun to a federal checkpoint be the reason you cannot answer ‘no’ to the question often asked on job applications: have you ever been arrested.”
In fact, there have been several TSA statements about intercepting firearms at US airports. One of them, dated December 23, 2022, noted an attempt to stash a deconstructed firearm in two peanut butter jars was successfully intercepted at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport as per below.
To John Essig, TSA’s Federal Security Director for JFK Airport, “The gun parts were artfully concealed in two smooth creamy jars of peanut butter, but there was certainly nothing smooth about the way the man went about trying to smuggle his gun.” The perpetrator was arrested. Even Shannon Watts, leader of Moms Demand Action, a US gun violence prevention group had thoughts on this incident:
May you take your firearm on your flight?
First, unless you are on duty in law enforcement or a member of the Federal Flight Deck Officer program recently profiled by Simple Flying, you may absolutely not take your firearm or gun into an aircraft cabin. That means on your person, in a pocket or in carry-on luggage.
Furthermore, a concealed carry permit is not sufficient permission to take your firearm into an aircraft cabin. Conceal carry permits have further limits also, so please check the laws of the state your permit was issued.
But you can take your firearms with you on an airline trip only if you put them unloaded in a locked, hard-sided case for check-in. At check-in, you need to calmly and professionally advise an airline check-in agent that you wish to have your luggage checked in and in the belly of the aircraft as firearms are inside. After landing, you will be reunited with your firearms inside your luggage at baggage claim.
Where can you check to see what may you bring to fly the friendly skies?
The US Transportation Security Administration has a helpful website that you can check before or as you pack for your next trip to the airport. The website covers everything from food to medical to tools and more.
That said, our non-US readers are encouraged to please check their national transportation security websites before packing for the airport. You can also check with the airline or airlines you intend to or have booked a flight with, and are encouraged to please do so if there is any doubt.
What is your assessment? Please share with civility in the comments below.
Source: FOX 35 Orlando