At US airports, record number of firearms found in 2014

24 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Record 2,212 guns intercepted at US airports last year.

Inspectors at US airports found a record 2,212 guns, most of them loaded, in travellers’ carry-on baggage in 2014, the Transportation Security Administration said Friday. Seventy-eight firearms were discovered at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, 77 were found at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and 70 were removed from carry-on bags at Denver International Airport. A woman carries a Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm pistol in her belt while participating in a rally supporting Michigan’s Open Carry law on April 27, 2014 in Romulus, Michigan ©Bill Pugliano (Getty Images/AFP/File) Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix, Houston and Denver led the list of 224 airports — 19 more than 2013 — where TSA inspectors stopped passengers from taking guns onto their flights.

Also last year, the department said, more than 1,400 “firearm components, replica firearms, stun guns, and other similar dangerous objects were discovered” in carry-on luggage. Among the weapons seized was an assault rifle with three loaded magazines in Dallas and a loaded .38 caliber pistol on the hip of a 94-year-old man at New York’s La Guardia airport.

Besides guns, TSA inspectors in 2014 also came across a hand grenade in Los Angeles — a discovery that delayed five flights — and six blocks of plastic explosives in Tampa, Florida. They also uncovered an 8.5-inch (20 centimeter) knife inside an enchilada in Santa Rosa, California and razor blades hidden in a Scooby Doo greeting card in Newport News, Virginia. Under federal law, anyone who tries to take a gun onto an airline flight as a carry-on item — loaded or not — can face criminal prosecution and a $10,000 fine.

Kennedy International Airport opened a checked bag for a routine inspection, they discovered many containers for household items like baby wipes, coffee, lemonade mix and a box of cat litter actually contained two disassembled .40 caliber handguns, 350 rounds of ammunition, and 58 bricks (33 pounds) of marijuana. She had simply forgotten she had put the knife in with her food. •A hand grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Los Angeles International Airport.

Writing utensils, a highlighter and pen being carried by a Philadelphia International Airport passenger were found to be concealing small knives, as well. The agency seized more than $10 million in counterfeit Beats by Dre headphones, more than $1 million in counterfeit Gibson, Les Paul and other brand-name guitars, and more than $1 million in counterfeit soccer apparel with fake trademarks from popular teams such as Real Madrid, Celtic and Chelsea. Many other concealed items were discovered last year including: a razorblade in a cell phone, a saw blade in a bible, a cell phone knife case, a lipstick stun gun, a pocket knife in a potato chip bag, two rounds of .22 caliber ammo sewn into a shirt cuff and a machete concealed under the lining of bag.

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