The Transportation Security Administration revealed that it had confiscated 54 loaded guns at airport security checkpoints in just the past week. Of the 54 guns that were taken, 17 had a bullet in the firing chamber.
While it is permissible for an airline passenger to travel with a firearm in their checked luggage, they are allowed to do so only after they declare the item before boarding. The TSA wrote on its website that there was no indication that the people whose weapons were confiscated were preparing to use the firearms maliciously.
The TSA did state that the discovery of such firearms greatly reduces that speed at which passengers can expect to pass through security.
"Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. 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 throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested," according to a message posted on the TSA website.
The government agency also notes that a passenger traveling with an undeclared firearm can face a fine as high as $7,500.00.
"This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home. Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items," the TSA added.
In addition to the 54 loaded guns taken the TSA also seized a dozen stun guns, a couple of inert grenades, some ammunition and a few razor blades.