WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration has a problem.
Certain people — people educated enough to learn how to shoot a weapon, drive a vehicle to the airport and travel by plane — are getting caught attempting to bring along a firearm in their carry-on baggage.
On Wednesday, the TSA released some alarming figures about the (mental) state of our country: In 2013, more than 1,800 firearms were detected at airport checkpoints across the country, up from more than 1,500 in 2012, 1,300 in 2011. Already in 2014, the TSA has found more than 900. In the Washington region, so far 10 have been found at Reagan National, seven at Baltimore-Washington International and four at Dulles International.
The TSA is so piqued by the rising number of people trying to bring their weapons through the security checkpoints — rather than legally declaring them at the ticket counters — that the agency held a brief news conference Wednesday morning to vent. And, to explain how one can purchase hard weapons cases and declare their guns at the ticket counter.
“This many years after the Sept. 11 attacks, you’d think people would know the rules. It’d be natural,” said Lisa Farbstein, a TSA spokeswoman. “They’re telling us they forget. You need to know where your firearm is.”
In many cases, the TSA can fine people up to $11,000 if they get caught trying to secret a weapon through the checkpoint. Additionally, airport police can make an arrest.