"Hi, I forgot this was in my bag," is an excuse among the passengers of a plane in the United States when airport security he detects a gun in his handbags, something that usually doesn't respond to a threat.
"People usually wear them and then forget them when they go to the airport, so one of the things we tell them is paying attention," he tells the news agency. Efe a regional spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Mark Howell.
Pomegranates, ninja stars, replicas of mortar projectiles, steel buoys and all kinds of pistols are some of the & # 39; jewels & # 39; those agents usually find it in the registers at US airport facilities.
In 2018 alone, authorities discovered 4,249 firearms in the hand luggage of some of the nearly 814 million passengers They passed the checkpoints of the country's airports, which is around 12 a day, according to the TSA.
Between airports, Hartsfield-Jackson airport Atlanta led the rankings last year with the largest number of firearms discovered in traveling handbags, with 298, of which 253 are loaded; followed by Dallas / Fort Worth, with 219 (193 with ammunition) and Phoenix Sky Harbor, with 129 (120 loaded).
In most cases the travelers came with weapons not because they had plans to attack, but because they wear it on a regular basis and they forgot to take it from their suitcases.
"It is almost always unintentional or has no purpose," says Howell, who explains that usually a fine is imposed on the passenger, which can amount to more than 13 thousand dollars.
Although the goal is not to commit every attack, Howell draws attention to the danger that many of the firearms found are full of ammunition. 86% of those were found in 2018.
"That's why we partner with law enforcement officers to deal with these cases," says Howell.
In the country with the most weapons per capita, where four in ten citizens admitted having a firearm or living in a house with weaponsaccording to a 2017 survey by the Pew center, it is not surprising that the number of users caught with a gun, dagger, or other object of this type & # 39; & # 39; in airport scanners every year.
"The figure is growing year by year, ten firearms were detected (in hand luggage at airports) and 2018, 4,239," the spokesman said.
Faced with this armament, the TSA recommends a series of measures to prevent delays at airports and possible sanctions.
The government agency suggests that those who insist on moving with firearms should go downloaded and stored in a special box locked under lock, from which the passenger must inform at the time of invoicing to start with the rest of the baggage.
Seeing the panorama of dangerous constructions found in the handbags takes a while to decide which one is the most extravagant.
"Perhaps, an electric lawn mower was found a few years ago," Howell reflects.
Every year the TSA compiles a list of the ten rarest objects that have been detected. The strangest in 2018 was a glove similar to that of Freddy Krueger, the sinister protagonist of the horror movie & # 39; A Nightmare on Elm Street & # 39 ;.
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