"Alarming" Amount of Guns Seized at Airports

The TSA said there were more than 1,200 guns discovered at checkpoints nationwide last year – twice the amount from 2008.

By VIKKI VARGAS and ASHLEY GORDON
Updated 5:20 PM PDT, Tue, Jan 31, 2012

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A surprising amount of guns are found in carry-on luggage, according to security officials who said they confiscate four guns a day from the nations’ airports on average. The amount has doubled from just a few years ago.

“It’s an alarming number -- the amount of people that are actually bringing guns to the airport, and just forgetting that they have them,” said Transportation Security Administration spokesperson Nico Melendez.

Just Saturday, a .45 caliber handgun was taken from a Salt Lake City man’s carry-on bag at John Wayne Airport. He thought he could take the clip and ammunition on board because he had a permit.

At John Wayne Airport alone, similar occurrences happened 66 times last year, with guns, gun parts and bullets all being confiscated. Nationwide, the TSA said there were more than 1,200 guns discovered at checkpoints last year – twice the amount from 2008.

LOOK
Gun and identification taken from a male...

Orange County sheriffs arrested some travelers, others were cited and released, but each one is facing criminal charges.

“They have the mindset, 'I'm not a terrorist, so I don't have to concentrate as hard on those things.' But in a 9/11 world that we live in, you have to be mindful of what's in your bag,” said Lt. Mike Miller of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Public officials aren’t exempt from this thinking.

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly was cited and released last week after security officials found a loaded handgun in his briefcase at LA-Ontario International Airport. He called it an “unfortunate mistake.”

"People are crazy," said traveler Jessie Mancilla. "It's crazy that they can think they get through there when they have all the security measures they do have now."

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First Published: Jan 10, 2012 4:23 PM PDT

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