SAN ANTONIO –The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has discovered five firearms, four of which were loaded, at security screening checkpoints in the last five days at San Antonio International Airport (SAT).
All firearms were detected in carry-on bags during X-ray screening at security screening checkpoints. All were carried by different passengers. The most recent firearm, which was loaded, was found yesterday. Two other loaded firearms were intercepted at security screening checkpoints Monday in separate incidents. In addition, an unloaded firearm was intercepted Sunday, Aug. 20, and a loaded firearm was discovered Saturday, Aug. 19. In each case, TSA alerted the San Antonio Airport Police, and officers took possession of the weapons and interviewed the passengers before they were allowed to continue or rebook. Any determination about criminal charges is up to law enforcement.
“This is a good opportunity to continue to remind passengers that you cannot bring a firearm to an airport security checkpoint,” said TSA SAT Federal Security Director Jess Presas. “Firearms can only be transported in a checked bag that is declared to the airline at the ticket counter and properly packed in a locked, hard-sided container.” Firearm parts, ammunition, and realistic replicas also are not allowed through security checkpoints, but can be transported in checked bags.
Nationwide, TSA officers found 3,391 firearms at airport security checkpoints in 2016, which was a 28 percent increase over 2015. So far this year, SAT has discovered 38 firearms at checkpoints. In 2016, SAT intercepted 57 firearms at checkpoints.
TSA has the authority to levy a civil penalty of up to $11,000 against a passenger who brings a firearm to the checkpoint. The average penalty for a loaded firearm is $3,000, and the average for an unloaded is $1,500. For more information, visit the prohibited items and firearms and ammunition pages at tsa.gov.