1,101 Firearms Intercepted By Tsa In First Year
The Transportation Security Administration has intercepted more than 4.8 million prohibited items at passenger security checkpoints in its first year, contributing to the security of the traveling public and the nation’s 429 commercial airports.
Through February, intercepted items included 1,101 firearms, nearly 1.4 million knives, nearly 2.4 million other sharp objects including scissors, 39,842 box cutters, 125,273 incendiary or flammable objects, and 15,666 clubs.
“Those statistics are strong testimony to the professionalism and attention to detail of our highly trained security screeners,” said Adm. James M. Loy, the TSA’s administrator. “Although intercepting most of those items resulted from inadvertent violations by passengers, keeping dangerous items off flights is a top priority and we must err on the side of caution.”
The TSA, as ordered by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, assumed responsibility for airport security on Feb. 17, 2002. By the end of April, the TSA was deploying its own screeners and by the Nov. 19, 2002, deadline set by Congress, had taken over all passenger screening from private contractors.
Passengers can learn what may and may not be taken through a checkpoint by going to www.tsatraveltips.us and clicking on prohibited and permitted items.
When an item is intercepted, a passenger has the option of returning it to his or her vehicle, giving it to someone who is not getting on the flight, putting it in the mail before again going through the checkpoint, storing it in a checked bag if a permitted item is involved, or voluntarily abandoning the item at the security checkpoint.
TSA is authorized to dispose of abandoned property if it has no commercial value or if storing and handling costs exceed sale value.
TSA follows General Services Administration regulations to ensure the proper disposal of abandoned items. Among other things, those regulations allow items to be destroyed or distributed to state agencies responsible for the disposal of surplus property.
Some states have made voluntarily abandoned items available to public agencies and not-for-profit organizations. States, other public agencies and not-for-profit organizations may sell or otherwise distribute such items.