Blog Articles

US travel risk at airports increases as travelers caught attempting to bring a firearm on a plane grows

Travel risk mitigation strategies for organizations starts the second a worker leaves the door of an office. It's up to the company to make sure a worker's trip to the airport, safety inside the airport, flight, destination and travel around the work location are all closely monitored and assessed to avoid any incidents.

The amount of incidents where a traveler attempts to bring a firearm on a plane has almost doubled since 2009

Number of incidents on the rise
While the list of places to protect an employee might seem extensive, a new report from the Transportation Security Administration recently stated the amount of U.S. passengers attempting to bring a firearm in their carry-on luggage increased to 1,813 incidents in the U.S. in 2013. The number was a massive jump from the 976 recorded incidents reported in 2009.

When compared to 2012's numbers, the amount of attempted firearm incidents in carry-on luggage grew 16 percent in 2013, and early reports from the TSA estimate numbers have increased yet again this year. In a recent Medill National Security Zone report with Northwestern University, in 2013, 84 percent of the confiscated guns in airports around the nation were loaded as well.

The New York Times discovered that except in limited cases, the TSA workers simply hand over the reports of gun and firearm attempted carry-on incidents to the local law enforcement and sometimes do not contact the FBI.

"All we're permitted to do is confiscate the weapon and call law enforcement agents, who then will take custody of it and determine whether or not you're arrested," said David Castelveter, a spokesperson for the TSA, according to the Times.

Travelers say they forgot about the gun
Castelveter added that the majority of travelers who get busted with the firearm say they simply forgot they had the firearm on them or in the bag, the source stated. However, Castelveter, like many other Americans, is completely dumbfounded how professionals in security and law enforcement can forget firearm safety protocol.

The TSA Union is made up of 45,000 employees, and David Borer, a general counsel member for the American Federation of Government Employees, asked how people could possibly forget carrying such an item, the Boston Globe reported.

"They don't forget to put on their pants," Borer added, according to the source. "They don't forget to bring a toothbrush. But oh hey, they forgot they brought a gun? They've been on notice for this for 10 years, and it's time to grow up and be responsible."

With the continuous growth of firearm incidents in airports, businesses have to increase their risk management plans with their workers in case there ever was an incident. According to the Kansas City Star, many people feel the liberalization of gun laws in certain states has helped cause the growing number of incidents, but companies still have to be prepared to protect corporate travelers no matter what the situation brings.

Biggest offenders
TSA released its top five airports with the most firearm incidents in 2013:

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with 111 firearms 
2. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with 96 firearms
3. George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston with 68 firearms
4. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with 66 firearms
5. Denver International Airport with 51 firearms


Back to Travel Risk Management | Back to All Categories