TSA screened 17.7 million passengers and discovered 93 firearms in carry-on bags at 65 airports from Dec. 1 through 9. Of the 93 firearms discovered, 76 were loaded and 29 had a round chambered. Bringing a firearm through the security checkpoint may result in a civil penalty of up to $13,333. Repeat violations will result in higher penalties.
Learn how to properly travel with your firearms in checked baggage. Note that airline policies may differ from TSA’s, so we strongly recommend travelers check with their airline prior to traveling. Travelers should also review state and local firearm laws at both their departure and destination, as they vary.
All of the firearms pictured were discovered from Dec. 1 to 9.
These five replica mortar shells were discovered in the checked bag of an Orlando International Airport passenger on Dec. 1. Baggage screening operations were stopped until an explosives specialist could respond and declare the items safe. Anything resembling an explosive item is prohibited in carry-on and checked bags. Packing these items can cause an airport to shut down or evacuate and may result in a civil penalty or arrest.
This carry-on bag looked a bit suspicious to our Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport X-ray operator. During a bag check, scissors and a knife were found wrapped in tin foil in the bag’s lining. Scissors with blades shorter than 4 inches, measured from the tip to the pivot point, are allowed in carry-on bags. Knives of any size and scissors with blades longer than 4 inches should be packed in your checked baggage.
This carbon dioxide powered semi-automatic pellet gun was discovered in a carry-on bag at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport on Dec. 6. The pellet gun did not have the federally required orange safety muzzle indicator. The passenger had the firearm tucked into a static shielding bag as pictured on the left. Firearms including airsoft guns, pellet guns and bb guns are prohibited in carry-on baggage.
TSA Tip: Attempting to conceal a prohibited item may result in arrest or a civil penalty.
Officer Straight from William P. Hobby Airport joined TSA in 2017. While working the X-ray on Dec. 1, she stopped this loaded .40 caliber firearm with a round chambered from making its way onto a flight. The passenger stated they forgot the firearm was in the bag.
TSA screening procedures prevent prohibited items and other threats to transportation security from entering the sterile area of the airport. Along with the finds highlighted in this post, our officers regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, stun guns, small pocket knives and many other dangerous items.
In most cases the traveler forgets the item is in their bag. This can lead to a citation and in some cases arrest. Unfortunately, this happens far too often. Our goal in sharing these finds is to remind travelers to check their bags and the rules before heading to the airport.
And it’s that time of year! Check out our 5 tips to make your holiday travel smooth.