I routinely follow the TSA Blog. I travel for work and get to interact with the airline industry more often than I would like.
What I find super entertaining is the “Week in Review” that they publish where they share all of the silly things that people attempt to inappropriately travel with. Specifically firearms. The week of January 1st to the 7th showed thirty-seven firearms appearing in CARRY-ON bags. Seriously, who at this point doesn’t realize that airlines, of all places, is the one place where you are not supposed to carry? Of those thirty-seven, thirty were loaded, and fifteen had a round chambered.
Obviously if you are going to carry it should be “ready to go”, and in my opinion, should be physically on you. Now my question is this: why are these guns just hanging around in bags out of the person’s control? How does one just “forget” they had a loaded and chambered firearm in a small bag just prior to going through some of the most invasive scrutiny most people will ever experience?
Personally I am super paranoid whenever I travel. I go through my bags several times because I am afraid I may have a stray piece of brass hanging in the bottom of my pack. I cannot imagine missing something like a firearm (which you have to know will be confiscated at the very least).
If you are going to fly with firearms there currently is a right way to do it (we even discussed using a starter pistol back in 2010). Deviant Ollam (a well known presenter/lecturer/expert in the area of physical security and other topics; who even had some comments on the previously mentioned article) has put together one of the best primers I have seen on the topic (which incidentally allows you to secure other items in addition to firearms). Basically Deviant has a video, slides, help sheet, and “report cards” for specific airlines that show you how to safely and securely bring your firearms with you nearly negating the risk of theft and confiscation (I don’t think anything can be 100%).