ShareThis Page
News

Airport screeners find most unchecked guns ever

| Saturday, April 23, 2016, 3:15 p.m.

Thanks in part to a 28-year-old woman who tried to pass her unloaded gun through a Pittsburgh International Airport checkpoint last week, the Transportation Security Administration broke the record for the most firearms found in carry-on bags nationwide in a one-week span.

TSA discovered 73 firearms in carry-on luggage from April 15 to 21 at airports across the country.

The agency reported that 68 were loaded and 27 had a round in the chamber.

The previous weekly record of 68 firearms was set in October.

The unidentified California woman caught at Pittsburgh International Airport on April 16 told authorities that she forgot her unloaded .38-caliber pistol was in her bag. She was not arrested, but her weapon was confiscated.

It was the third gun found by Pittsburgh TSA screeners this month and the fifth for the year. Local screeners discovered 20 guns in carry-on luggage last year and 14 in 2014.

Federal law bars guns in carry-on bags, but they can be transported in checked luggage if they are unloaded and declared to the airline.

TSA carry-on screeners will confiscate realistic replica firearms, pellet and airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, stun guns and many kinds of knives.

“Unfortunately, these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent, which is why we talk about these finds,” said TSA spokesman Bob Burns in a press release.

“Sure, it's great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. The passenger can face a penalty as high as $11,000.”

Carl Prine is a Tribune-Review investigative reporter. Reach him at cprine@tribweb.com or 412-320-7826.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me