Only in America. The L.A. Times reports that despite a year of lower than usual air travel, gun-loving travelers managed to increase the amount of guns brought through airports across the country.
The statistics are honestly shocking. A report from the TSA states that the agency recorded the highest number of travelers trying to pass through security with weapons ever in 2021.
The TSA has stopped travelers carrying more than 5,700 firearms at U.S. airports since the beginning of 2021, far surpassing the previous record of 4,432 firearms in 2019, according to TSA spokesperson R. Carter Langston. A final tally will be announced next month.
The most disturbing part of all this? Around 85 percent of those weapons were loaded. I don’t even want to think about the intent of a person who’s trying to bring a loaded gun on a plane.
The surge in weapons comes as air travel is down 25 percent compared to pre-pandemic 2019 travel levels. So where is this surge in weapons coming from? Experts think it has something to do with the pandemic.
The increase is probably tied to a jump in overall U.S. gun sales since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Langston, who cited a July 2020 report by the Brookings Institute, a Washington think tank.
In January and February of 2020, the average number of daily gun sales in the U.S. was about 92,000, the study said. After then-President Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, daily gun sales jumped to more than 120,000 a day, peaking at 176,000 on March 16. In total, nearly 3 million more guns were sold between March and July of 2020 than would have ordinarily been sold during those months, Brookings reported.
So a gentle reminder: don’t be dumb and try to bring a weapon on a plane. It makes no sense to do it anyway because no one asked you to be a hero, and the federal government has a lot of guidelines that involve you not having a gun with you a plane. Plus, manage to bring one on and the Feds will fine you up to $13,910 per violation.