The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Miami International Airport (MIA) stopped a suitcase full of fireworks at MIA on Friday. Flammable and explosive items are not permitted in either your carry-on or checked bag. This morning and last Saturday, TSA officers at MIA stopped a passenger with a loaded gun, bringing the total prevented this year to 14. The seventh gun for the year was intercepted by TSA officers at Palm Beach International Airport on Friday and the 29th gun was caught at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Wednesday.
Passengers bringing firearms to the TSA checkpoint remain a problem; 529 guns were deterred by TSA officers throughout Florida last year; Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport totaled 96 and Orlando International with 123 weapons. They were ranked among the top 10 airports, nationwide, for firearms carried into the airport security areas. And most of the guns were loaded. The problem is escalating nationally with 4,239 guns stopped by the TSA throughout the country last year. Also apprehended by Officers, were thousands of pounds of voluntarily abandoned property consisting of prohibited items such as knives and brass knuckles and hazardous materials (HazMat) such as corrosive, flammable, or explosive household chemicals. The you-brought-what-to-the-checkpoint items have included stun guns, switch blades, grenades, throwing stars, clubs and martial arts tools.
While making travel less stressful, these travel tips will help you avoid civil penalties up to $13,000, for bringing a firearm to a federal checkpoint, whether or not you are arrested by law enforcement. The penalty for an individual attempting to transport fireworks, may reach $2,000.
Remember to sign up for the TSA Pre✓® program. The program is now at more than 200 airports including all three area airports. But you will lose those privileges if you bring a gun to the checkpoint. Also remember the 3-1-1 rule still applies to carry-on bags. Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less per container; must be in a quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; one bag is permitted per passenger; and the bag must be taken out of your suitcase and placed into a screening bin.
Declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula/food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces, and they don’t have to be in the zip-top bag. These items must be declared for inspection at the checkpoint prior to the X-ray scan. If in doubt, put your liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes in your checked baggage. Make sure they are not HazMat as certain chemicals and fireworks are not allowed in either carry-on or checked bags.
Be prepared. Each time a TSA officer has to open a bag due to prohibited items, it slows down the screening process for you and everyone behind you,” said Sari Koshetz, a TSA spokesperson for the. “Practicing the 3-1-1 rule and leaving home without your prohibited items will facilitate the checkpoint experience and reduce your travel stress. Don’t turn your vacation into a trip to jail.