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 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.
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?