Why do people (try to) bring guns on planes?

So looking at some statistics on TSA’s instagram (https://www.instagram.com/tsa/) they claim to have intercepted 2,653 guns last year.

I find this astonishing and unbelievable. If someone asked me, “How many guns would you guess got intercepted in a year?” I would have guessed close to zero. Maybe I’m just naïve, but I absolutely cannot conceive of how - or even why - anyone would try to bring a gun in their carry on. (Especially when you are allowed to check the gun as baggage.) I know it’s always futile to underestimate human stupidity, but I refuse to believe anyone could be that stupid.

So, my question is: What are the reasons / explanations people claim when they get caught? I’m going to assume that anyone who claims they “forgot they had a gun” or “didn’t know guns weren’t allowed” is just a unimaginative liar. Are there any other explanations for why people try this, and why they think they can get away with it?

I think it happens because people forget they have them in their purse, backpack or even on their person. I have a CCW permit and sometimes walk into my bank wearing my pistol and completely forget that guns are not allowed. Believe me it happens. If you think about how many people fly, that’s a pretty small number.

I think you’re incorrect in your assumption, and that there are plenty of people who regularly carry guns in a bag that they also use for flights. A messenger bag or a satchel, for example.

Some people who carry guns, just automatically carry their gun without thinking. Since it is part of their daily routine to keep it on their person, they have to make a conscious effort to leave it behind.

The link in the OP and this LA Times article indicate that more guns are found in states with an active “gun culture”, i.e., people like to carry guns.

Not the same, but I once checked a pistol that was in my bag without notifying TSA. It was the second leg of a trip and I had followed all the rules on the first leg and then just forgot on the second. It was still locked up in it’s case in a big checked bag and the ammo was separate, but I could have still been busted.

If you don’t fly a lot, airports and travel can make people confused, anxious and dumb.

What everyone else has said. For an early morning flight I once forgot to put my shampoo, sunscreen, etc into my checked bag and had to throw it all out.

Either that or extreme Ophidiophobia.

I’m an attorney. I’m not allowed to carry weapons in the courthouse, including pocketknives. I kept a pocketknife on my keychain and constantly forgot to remove it before going inside. Now I don’t carry it since it’s a pain in the arse to check it in.

One time at a gun show (ironically you are not allowed to carry them on the gunshow floor) I was going through the security pat down when the guy in the lane next to me had a gun on him that was removed. Then patted down again. Then another gun found and removed. Then patted down again.

Wash, rinse, repeat, and he had 7 pistols on his person. I think it’s a type of kick for a certain type of mentally deranged person to have lots of weaponry found on them, a few too many times watching the scene where Neo walks into the lobby with the duffel bag.

If I’m reading this (http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/acts) correctly, 797,157,000 people flew between November 2014 and October 2015. If they confiscated 2,653 guns, that’s 0.000333%, which is essentially 0.

I’m sorry but if they had not been confiscated that would be 2,653 too many.

I am reminded of the (possibly apocryphal) story of the French professor who was caught carrying a bomb onto a plane. When questioned he said that the odd against there being two bombs on a plane were astronomical.

I think the others are right. I have had not one but two Swiss Army knives confiscated by TSA on separate occasions because I forgot to put them in my checked luggage. They weren’t the cheap ones either. I absolutely loved them and never let anything happen to them at home for years at a time but the confusion of air travel just made me forget about them once in my pocket and once in my carry-on. TSA was nice about it and even offered to let me get out of line and ship them home but I didn’t have time in both cases so I just had to replace them later.

The same thing can happen with people that routinely carry a gun. That isn’t an excuse. It is completely their fault just like it was mine but it happens. The scary thing is that I seriously doubt the TSA has caught all or even most of them. Airports all over the country routinely fail those types of tests even for dummy bombs. The only good news is that legal gun owners that somehow slip through are generally not the same people that want to hijack planes or cause any type of disturbance. It probably shakes them up more than anyone else.

This. I’ve carried a pocket knife pretty much every day of my adult life. In the few years following the changing of the rules that disallowed them, I’ve given up three or four that a forget to put in my checked bag. I’ve always found them before going through security, so each time I just located some guy walking out who looked like he wasn’t afraid of knives and gave him a gift.

I have a recurring nightmare where I realized I’ve boarded a plane with my pistol, and am headed to some terrible totalitarian country (like Chicago) that doesn’t allow them.

If you say so. Do keep in mind though that it is virtually certain that a much higher number of guns are actually getting on plances.

In case of snakes.

Or unruly turkeys.

Not a personal attack but I think anyone who doesn’t remember he is carrying a gun shouldn’t carry one.

never underestimate the power of human stupidity. Nor their capacity to try anything. TSA has confiscated walking cane guns from wheelchair bound elderly folks, drugs and other prohibited items from inside children’s plush toys-while being carried by young children, the list seems endless.
And this is at a screening area. It gives one pause thinking about the items we pass every day walking down the street.

Do you feel the same way about a pocket knife?

How many of those 2,653 guns they claimed to have intercepted were “plants” or “tests” to see if the TSA can find someone carrying a gun. That is, undercover operations ?

well I can’t imagine carrying a knife and not being aware of it.