Authorities have stopped greater than 6,000 firearms from going by way of airport security checkpoints to this point this 12 months, probably the most in the historical past of the Transportation Security Administration, officers mentioned Friday.
Of the 6,301 guns found by officers at checkpoints, greater than 88% have been loaded.
“TSA anticipates it will prevent about 6,600 firearms in carry-on bags from entering the secure area of airports by the end of 2022, a nearly 10% increase over 2021’s record level,” officers mentioned.
Last 12 months, officers found 5,972 guns at checkpoints nationwide, marking what was then an all-time excessive because the TSA was created 21 years in the past and started monitoring firearm discoveries.
“Firearm possession laws vary by state and local government, but firearms are never allowed in carry-on bags at any TSA security checkpoint, even if a passenger has a concealed weapon permit,” officers mentioned.
The TSA mentioned it has elevated the utmost civil penalty for such violations to $14,950. Those caught with a gun at a checkpoint may also have PreCheck eligibility revoked for at least 5 years.
“Depending on state or local law in the airport’s location, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint may be arrested by law enforcement,” the TSA mentioned.
At Los Angeles International Airport, officers intercepted barely fewer firearms to this point this 12 months than they did final 12 months.
As of Thursday, there have been 75 guns found at the airport’s security checkpoints, in contrast with 89 final 12 months general, in line with knowledge supplied by the TSA.
Officers discovered 43 guns in 2020, 44 in 2019, 57 in 2018 and 56 in 2017, in line with the TSA.
“LAX is home to the largest and most sophisticated airport police force in the country, with substantial capabilities to detect and deter threats of all types,” mentioned Martin Elam, deputy government director for public security and security at Los Angeles World Airports.
Airport police work “hand-in-hand” with the TSA to reply to reviews of firearms that aren’t correctly secured and declared for journey, Elam mentioned.
Passengers are accountable for understanding the foundations of touring with a firearm and the implications of not following these guidelines, he mentioned.
“Firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags at the checkpoint and onboard aircraft,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske mentioned in an announcement. “When a passenger brings a firearm to the checkpoint, this consumes significant security resources and poses a potential threat to transportation security, in addition to being very costly for the passenger.”
Travelers who need to fly with firearms should depart them in checked baggage, follow specific guidelines for packing guns and ammunition, and declare them to their airline at check-in.