Can you smuggle guns by TSA security screeners?

Travelers are trying to smuggle guns by TSA onto planes.

smuggle guns by TSADid you hear about the guy who tried to spirit a .40 caliber rifle past Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents in Baltimore last week? He blamed his mother for packing the weapon in his carry-on bag. True story.

Then again, maybe he was one of the thousands of air travelers defying the TSA by smuggling a weapon on board. After all, it was also the 26th firearm confiscated at BWI this year. Kinda makes you wonder how much the TSA screeners miss, doesn’t it?
If you’re worried about airport security, there’s a new survey that puts the issue into troubling perspective. The research, conducted by Stratos Jet Charters, found that a shocking 88% of passengers smuggled prohibited items onto domestic flights. Among the most popular items: marijuana, alcohol and unauthorized weapons like the .40 caliber rifle Mom packed.
“One of the biggest surprises in our survey revealed that 15.2 percent of men and 8.5 percent of women admitted to bringing weapons or ammunition on board a plane,” says Stratos spokeswoman Stephanie Buzano. “Having the small Swiss Army knife that you use to clean your nails is a minor infraction; however, possessing a firearm, ammunition, or long knife is an entirely different matter.”
Here is the beginning of the TSA list of banned and not-banned items:

Aerosol Insecticide

Carry On Bags: No; Checked Bags: Yes (Special Instructions)
Aerosol insecticides are not allowed in carry-ons; however, they are allowed in checked bags as long as they are not labeled as hazardous material (HAZMAT).

Airbrush Make-up Machine

Carry On Bags: Yes; Checked Bags: Yes

Alcoholic beverages

Carry On Bags: Yes (Less than 3.4oz/100 ml allowed); Checked Bags: Yes
Alcoholic beverages with more than 24 percent but not more than 70 percent alcohol are limited in checked bags to 5 liters (1.3 gallons) per passenger and must be in unopened retail packaging. Alcoholic beverages with 24 percent alcohol or less are not subject to limitations in checked bags.
Mini bottles of alcohol in carry-on must be able to comfortably fit into a single quart-sized bag.
For more information, see FAA regulation: 49 CFR 175.10(a)(4).

Alcoholic beverages over 140 proof

Carry On Bags: No; Checked Bags: No
Alcoholic beverages with more than 70 percent alcohol (over 140 proof), including grain alcohol and 151 proof rum. For more information, see FAA regulation: 49 CFR 175.10(a)(4).


Carry On Bags: No; Checked Bags: Yes (Special Instructions)
Check with your airline if ammunition is allowed in checked bags. Small arms ammunitions must be securely packed in fiber, wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. Ask the airline about limitations or fees. Read the guidelines for traveling with firearms.
When traveling, be sure to comply with the laws concerning possession of firearms as they vary by local, state and international government.


Carry On Bags: Yes; Checked Bags: Yes
You may transport this item in carry-on or checked bags. For items you wish to carry on, you should check with the airline to ensure that the item will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

The TSA, created after 9/11 to protect America’s transportation systems, is mostly focused on airport security. It has a long record of failing security audits. Travelers admit to regularly testing the TSA’s resolve. But the real problem, the research suggests, is that more and more passengers think they can get away with it. All of which makes you ask: Who else thinks a plane would make an easy target?
Originally posted on on Oct. 27, 2018 — Reproduced with permission from Christopher Elliott.