Rising incidents of firearms at airports soaring skyward?

So, who’s counting how many guns are detected among passengers’ belongings at airports?
The federal Transportation Security Administration is and it appears its count is on a record pace.
That is, at least in West Virginia’s airports, with at least 12 firearms discovered this year to date.
The high mark at state airports is 14 firearms seized in 2016. That nearly tripled the five found in West Virginia airports in 2015. In 2014, TSA officers seized six firearms and in 2013 seized just three in West Virginia.
Some are probably all too ready to discount these numbers in West Virginia airports as marginal and they certainly appear that way.
But for perspective, TSA officers had detected just four guns at New York’s JFK International Airport by mid-July.
And wouldn’t you know it, the fourth passenger toting a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag at JFK this year was from West Virginia. That seizure also doubled only two guns discovered in carry-on bags at JFK in 2018.
However, nationwide, TSA officials are continuing to confiscate a higher number of firearms at checkpoints.
In 2015, TSA officials discovered 2,653 firearms in carry-on bags. In 2016, that number increased 28 percent to 3,391, an average of nine firearms a day.
Last year, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the nation, averaging about 11.6 seizures per day, a 7% increase from the 3,957 seized in 2017.
In 86% of these incidents last year the firearms were loaded and nearly a third of them had a bullet in the chamber.
Oddly, state airports saw a dramatic drop of firearm seizures to seven in 2017 and eight in 2018. Yet, those kinds of incidents are on pace to hit a new mark this year.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms if they are properly declared and in a checked bag, if they are unloaded, packed in a hard case, locked and packed separately from ammunition. If you bring a firearm to an airport checkpoint otherwise you are subject to criminal charges.
Even travelers with concealed firearm permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes in their carry-on bags.
Though the prevalence per capita of firearms in our state is evident at a glance, the sky is still the limit for curbing the proliferation of guns.
Of course, when factoring in the 2 million some passengers and their baggage the TSA screens daily nationwide the number of firearm violations are miniscule.
Yet, if one gunman on a packed airliner with a loaded 9 mm handgun should ever evade TSA’s security the result would be horrendous.
The toll of which, from just one such mass shooting, would be one count no one wants to even estimate.

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