TSA intercepted more than 1,500 firearms at airports in first three months of 2023

    0


    Transportation Security Administration agents intercepted 1,508 firearms in carry-on luggage at airport security checkpoints in the first three months of 2023, a 10.3% rise over the same time frame last year, the TSA said in a release Thursday. 

    While security officials have seen an increase in guns seized, it’s partly due to more Americans traveling by airplane, as airlines saw a 20.4% rise in customers in the first quarter of 2023. 

    More than 93% of the firearms intercepted so far have been loaded, while just 86% were loaded in 2022, the TSA said. 

    Travelers who are caught with a firearm in their carry-on luggage may be subject to whatever state and local laws apply. Even if carrying a gun is perfectly legal, the traveler will have their PreCheck eligibility suspended for five years, the release said. They may also be subject to additional screening on future flights and a maximum civil penalty of $14,950. 

    It can also cause a massive headache for fellow travelers. 

    “It is the busy spring travel season and when someone shows up with a firearm at the checkpoint the conveyor belt is stopped until the police arrive and can remove the carry-on bag from the X-ray machine to safely secure the weapon,” John Essig, the TSA’s federal security director at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, said after a passenger was stopped with a handgun this week. 

    VIRGINIA WOMAN STOPPED BY AIRPORT SECURITY BRINGING GIRAFFE AND ZEBRA BONES BACK FROM KENYA

    While many of the intercepted firearms are small pistols left in someone’s bag by accident, travelers have been caught with larger, more powerful guns.

    A New Orleans man was stopped at an airport in Louisiana with a loaded Palmetto PA-15 Multi AR rifle and five additional loaded magazines in his carry-on bag in February. 

    MSY Airport PA-15

    TSA agents stopped a man from carrying a riffle with 163 rounds of ammunition onto a flight out of New Orleans, Louisiana. (Transportation Security Administration)

    CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

    More than 6,540 firearms were intercepted at security checkpoints in all of 2022, a record high, according to the TSA. It’s a relatively new problem, as just 1,913 firearms were detected one decade ago in 2013. 

    Travelers who do want to fly with a gun can do so if they keep it in a locked hard-sided container in their checked baggage. They also must declare it to the airline while checking in for their flight, the TSA said.



    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here