TSA Wants to Revoke Your Handgun License If You Do This 1 Thing

According to the agency's website, the Transportation  Security Administration's (TSA) mission is to:

Protect the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.

Apparently, the TSA, an agency of the Federal Department of Homeland Security, believes that mission includes requesting that local Sheriffs revoke citizens' concealed carry licenses.

tsa permit

TSA Pittsburg, Pennsylvania:

TSA at Pittsburg Pennslyvania Airport reported that in 2021, they stopped 27 passengers at security checkpoints with firearms, 5 in one week. TSA Federal Security Director at Karen Keys called this “an epidemic that is alarming, and also very preventable.”

The TSA has a remedy, though.

In addition to fines between $3,00 – $14,000 and confiscation of their property, anyone caught bringing a firearm to the security checkpoint will face additional punishment. Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen Kaufman said:

We will be notifying the Sheriff in the county in which they [the person who is stopped with a firearm] reside, and asking that Sheriff to revoke their concealed carry permit.

The agency admitted that the majority forgot they had their firearm with them. Kaufman said forgetting you have your gun with you is “not responsible gun ownership.” I would agree with Kaufman that gun owners should check their bags and ensure they didn't leave a firearm in a carry-on bag, which I presume is the method most TSA agents discovered these firearms.

flying with handgun

I'm speculating, but most are likely guns in cases rather than loaded concealed carry handguns carelessly tossed in a backpack. It is also possible TSA found a few concealed carry handguns their owners forgot in purses.

Does the Punishment Fit The Crime:

I could make an argument that many people forget things in their carry-on luggage that they only discover right before or during the security screening. However, your gun shouldn't be one of these.


If you want to know how to how to fly with a firearm, here is our in-depth post on the topic.

There are a few questions that come to mind.

First, should a violation where the person made an honest mistake result in revocation of their concealed carry license?

Secondly, should the TSA influence a local Sheriff's decision to revoke a person's permit?

Finally, will other cities adopt these strategies and use them to punish gun owners?

I have my answers to those questions, but why don't you leave a comment with yours?

air travel with gun

About Matthew Maruster

I follow my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is the eternal co-equal Son of God. I currently live in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and daughter. I served in the Marine Corps Infantry. I was a Staff Sergeant and served as a Platoon Sergeant during combat in Iraq. After I was a police officer at a municipal agency in San Diego County. I have a Bachelors's Degree in Criminal Justice from National University. MJ Maruster Defense.


  1. David LaPlamte on October 13, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    TheTsa has no right to to tell sherrifs to cancel someones concealed carry permit. and just because people forget they have their firearm on them is not irresponsible gun ownership. its anti gunners like these people that need to mind their own business after all they are only over rated airport attendants,

    • jpcmt on October 13, 2021 at 5:01 pm

      They can tell the Sheriff all they want, the Sheriff can decide for himself what to do about it. I suspect most Sheriffs will tell these brown shirt jack booted monkeys to pound sand. Unlike the Sheriff, there’s no TSA or DHS director, worker, jack booted thug who has any authority in any state of this union. All such authority resides in the states or with the people (10A).

    • Darrell Whitledge on October 14, 2021 at 3:21 am

      I agree the TSA has no right but if someone forgets they have a gun then they shouldn’t have one period!!

      • Dani on October 15, 2021 at 6:58 am

        It’s like having a shirt on if you carry all the time. Sometimes you just forget to check that you took it off.

    • JimRed on October 14, 2021 at 10:15 am

      Any requirement for a carry permit is a clear infringement upon our second amendment rights. So to deny or revoke that permit is infringement upon infringement.

  2. Ardvark on October 13, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    If they actually did background checks on TSA people before hiring, they would probably be a lot less tsa personnel

    • Steve Gibbs on October 14, 2021 at 5:15 am

      .A sheriff in Indiana has no such authority. The issuing agency is the State Police.

  3. Kevin Roth on October 13, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    Unfortunately for TSA they do not have the authority to ask a local Sheriff who issued a ccw permit to revoke that permit. Per almost all state laws there are only a few minute reasons that justify a concealed carry permit to be revoked and unfortunately for TSA, forgetting about ur gun that is concealed either in a bag or on ur person is not one of the reasons stated in state statues. Nice try TSA! The Pennsylvania Attorney General should know and understand this!

    Kevin Roth

    Former LEO
    Law Enforcement Instructor
    NRA Inructor & RSO
    USCCA Instructor & RSO

    • Rick O'Shay on October 14, 2021 at 2:34 am

      The PA AG is very antigun as are the guvna and head of the state police. What Allegheny Co Sheriff Mullen is doing, by being coerced by the feds when he is the one person (the sheriff) that can stand between the fed and his constituents rights is beyond me.

  4. Larry on October 13, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    First TSA Employees are not federal or state agents they are contractors. that being the case they have no right to demand or as a sheriff to revoke any license. further since when is a government contractor allowed to violate the citizens god given right and protection afforded them under the constitution and bill of rights against the government infringing on the citizens rights.

  5. KAMCO on October 13, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    In Texas, if you have an LTC, you are given the opportunity to return to your conveyance and lock it up as long as you depart as soon as it is discovered.

    Personally I believe that TSA way oversteps their boundaries with what they are charged to do.

    If a firearm is found and it is obvious the person carrying it really forgot it was in said location, it should be temporarily held and returned the person at a later date. One time.

    If they forget again, they face losing the firearm. Regardless TSA has no right to request the Sheriff revoke the persons CCL or LTC.

    Stay in your lane TSA.

  6. Terry Rondberg on October 13, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    I left a clip in my carry on bag which is a black Tumi bag. My clip was black, I did double check my bag, I just didn’t see it when I left home. TSA acted like I was going to hijack the flight. I had to appear in court with my attorney in San Diego. The judge didn’t bother to show up and dismissed my case. What a joke TSA are nothing more than baggage handlers. Terry Rondberg

  7. Michael on October 13, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    If you have concealed carry permit you should always know where your firearms are. I travel everywhere I do business or visit. When I fly, and I find every Airline I have used to be very pro firearms, I always place it in a TSA approved lock box and check it in with my checked luggage. If I find that a place I was going is anti firearms and I am not allowed to carry there, then I add them to the places I dontdo business. It’s really that simple.

    • Bill on October 14, 2021 at 7:28 am

      What does having a permit have to do with anything? Permit or not, if you’re a gun owner, whether or not you have a permit is irrelevant.

    • Brian on October 9, 2022 at 1:06 pm

      A mistake is a mistake, everyone knows you can’t fly on a plane with a gun and what the procedure is to check in the gun. So based on your comments, you and your woke ideas, should my comment.

  8. JDM on October 13, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    For an honest mistake the TSA believes that our Constitutional Right to bear arms should be forfeited? It’s exactly that kind of Govt overreach that the second amendment was written to prevent.
    Keep poking the bear a-holes. One day that bear will rip your head off

  9. John P on October 13, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    The travel process with a firearm is pretty simple when you plan ahead.

    Someone who doesn’t have kids in the house or has a sudden trip and grabs a bag to use, needs to be extra careful to check their bags to be sure they are clear before heading out – but having a firearm in their bag at home or with them normally isn’t irresponsible. A pre-departure checklist may help – meds? Check. Gun locked up? Check. Wallet? Check.

    Federal agencies should stay in their lane, states need to resist any interference- one request here or there may seem innocent but once they’re used to asking and getting – what’s next??

  10. Kincaid on October 13, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    It should be S.O.P. that someone who has a Firearm on her or himself get in a separate line, simply remove the mag and chambered round, then “check” the “vacant” Firearm in to the “Attendant”, and you receive a “stub”. Then, ALL the Firearms are locked in a cabinet until the plane lands and people go back to a separate line and retrieve their Firearm. It could EASILY be done in a controlled and safe environment, like checking in your pet !! TSA SUCKS, and so does BIDEN !!

  11. Snowbear on October 13, 2021 at 5:50 pm

    Why would anyone knowingly bring a firearm to a security inspection site?? Are we now going to start punishing people for bad memories or honest mistakes? This is simply another way to slowly work at abolishing the 2nd Amendment and it is being done with people that are NOT sworn LEOs. They are Federal employees like mailmen.

  12. Eric Duke on October 13, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    TSA has no rights to try and influence the sheriffs department. TAS doesn’t even have proper training. It’s just about them trying to find ways of taking our guns away. It’s not gonna happen. But the funny thing is, I live in Texas and we can carry without a license so how do they intend to take my right away?

  13. Ron Lewis on October 13, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    This is an FYI and a heads up post that it’s easy to make mistakes. First of all and unrelated, I’m glad the TSA is there. I do believe they can publicize their finds, but I don’t think they should try to influence the powers that be to take away permits, etc. If it’s obvious there was malicious or criminal intent that’s different.
    As for mistakes, the first time I traveled with a firearm, a semi-automatic pistol, I purchased a hard plastic case called the Vault. I had read to make sure your case was locked and could not be pried open. I was thinking tools like a pry bar. Well, I packed my firearm according to their rules, snapped it shut and put a lock on it. There was a place for two locks but I thought one would do. As I was checking it, this lady at the counter unsnapped it, pried one corner open and stuck her hand in it. I was horrified and extremely thankful this lady was patient and helpful. Our good folks in the military donate locks just for idiots like me. She went and got one, put it on and saved my ass.

  14. Peter on October 13, 2021 at 6:04 pm

    I think its helpful to look at the larger issue in your article, which to my understanding is, “Why is a crime to bring a firearm to a TSA checkpoint?”. Examining the rationale behind this might help to expose the logic behind Kaufman’s position. Secondly, more data on the frequency of this occurrence would either credit or discredit Key’s statement as “an epidemic” which are often synonymous with “plague”, “scourge”, and “infestation”. This inflammatory language (unless the bringing of firearms to a checkpoint truly is a plague, scourge or infestation) is characteristic of the manipulative tactics that both sides of the gun argument use to emotionally sway people to their view, rather than letting the facts speak for themselves. If something is true, good, and worthy of support, then facts will make such benevolence of principle self-evident.

  15. SIck-of-Stupid-Gun-Owners on October 13, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    You are correct that you are “speculating” about most guns being in cases. As a retired law enforcement officer (not TSA or DHS), the last year before I retired, we found 63 loaded guns in CARRY-ON bags at a mid-size airport in the Midwest. Not a single one of them was in a case…most were not even in a holster!!! They were carelessly tossed in a backpack or duffle bag or purse. Often times, we found them in the bottom with cell phone charging cables wrapped around the trigger, or other lose items which became stuck in the barrel, making it exceptionally dangerous to recover the gun. TSA is not allowed to “confiscate” or touch the gun. Sworn law enforcement officers have to come deal with people’s careless and dangerous actions. It is true that most “forgot” where there weapon was…but that is the most reckless kind of gun ownership which causes issues for all of us.

  16. Mike Sohuttler on October 13, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    If you have a permit to own & carry a pistol and have TAKEN NRA AND YOUR STATES CLASSES, you would know that this is not a “oh, I forgot” situation. The law is the law. There are ways to ship your firearm on a trip?

    • JimRed on October 14, 2021 at 10:26 am

      9/11 was accomplished with box cutters, not firearms. And a couple of armed passengers could have a aborted the whole thing.

  17. Tony Bowman on October 13, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    First, the penalty far exceeds the action. Honest mistakes, that do not lead to death, injury or property damage, DO NOT QUALIFY for revocation of ones God granted rights.

    Secondly, I di not see anything in the TSA mission statement anything concerning the rights of citizens away from avenues of travel. As my father used to say, “Stay in your own lane.”

    Finally, will other cities adopt these strategies and use them to punish gun owners? I would hope that other cities would have greater common sense, but given the rate at which the federal government is weaponizing its agencies, I have to think that some will.

  18. DONALD WHITE on October 13, 2021 at 7:40 pm


  19. John on October 13, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    I’m as pissed as the next guy that the TSA is reaching out to Sheriffs. However, there is no way in hell anyone should be so negligent as to “forget” they threw a firearm – loaded or not – into a carry-on bag. This is exactly what the anti-gun goons look for when making an argument against gun ownership and the like. Let’s all just be more careful.

  20. Doug on October 13, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    I agree that TSA asking sheriffs to revoke licenses is a gross overstep. The fine should be enough of a penalty. But part of being a responsible gun owner is always keeping up with where your weapon is at all times. There should be no excuse for someone “forgetting” that they still have their weapon, knowing full well the implications of getting caught by TSA. We don’t excuse someone for driving after they get drunk. We expect them to be responsible. Gun ownership is also serious business.

  21. Rick O'Shay on October 14, 2021 at 2:47 am

    I am sure this is common in alot of other cities, why is Pittsburgh being highlighted? We are not a very busy airport. ATL, Dulles, LAX, NYC, MIA. HOU etc probably have more instances. Pittsburgh does have alot of retirees though so maybe.plain old senility is the reason. I don’t understand why people that carry would store their guns in travel bags/luggage though unless they may be the same as their bug out bags.

  22. Robert on October 14, 2021 at 4:12 am

    On August 18th of 2021, $200 cash was stolen from my travel kit by a TSA agent at the BWI Airport. I had several packs of alcohol prep wipes in my travel kit for the purpose of checking my blood sugar. I don’t know if this warranted the search of my travel kit or the metal strips embedded in the bills tipped them off as to the location.

  23. bob onit on October 14, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    the capitol police officer who shot and murdered ashli babbett ,left his gun hanging in a bathroom stall by the trigger guard . gee whiz a hypocrite in the government ,what a surprise

  24. mango358 on October 14, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    I feel that as having a CCL or LTC, we are held to a higher standard than someone that forgot a pocket knife in a backpack. Especially when it comes to dealing with the Feds. I’m not perfect and has carried into a prohibited location and didn’t get caught to say the least. Now I am vigilant to any LEGAL posting prohibiting weapons and my locations. My LTC instructor emphasized this during training that a license and weapon can be removed for infractions of all types. I never leave home without mine and would feel naked without it. Now after saying all that, we are human and make mistakes. Removing with anymore infractions would be appropriate to me. Just throwing it out there.

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