Austin, Texas — This morning, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) intercepted three loaded firearms--two carried by the same passenger--in carry-on bags at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) security checkpoints.
The first firearm was intercepted at Checkpoint 2 during x-ray screening. The other two firearms were found together in a single passenger’s carry-on bag at Checkpoint 1. Per standard procedure, TSA alerted local law enforcement. The Austin Police Department took possession of the weapons and interviewed the passengers. The police department decides whether or not to charge or cite passengers.
“These three catches bring the total number of firearms found at AUS checkpoints so far this year to 49,” said TSA AUS Federal Security Director Mike Scott. “It is unfortunate that passengers continue to bring firearms to checkpoints. We urge all travelers to ensure they know what is in their carry-on bags and to only travel with firearms in checked bags, after declaring them to the airline and storing them, unloaded, in a locked, hard-sided case.”
Passengers who bring firearms to airport security checkpoints not only will be referred to law enforcement, but also will receive a civil penalty from TSA, which can be as high as $13,333. Factors TSA considers when determining the civil penalty amount include whether the firearm was loaded. Individuals who violate rules regarding traveling with firearms will have Trusted Traveler status and TSA Pre✓® expedited screening benefits revoked for a period of time. Ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas also are not allowed in carry-on bags.
Some airline policies for traveling with a firearm in a checked bag may differ from TSA’s, so passengers are advised to also contact their airline prior to coming to the airport.
TSA found a record-breaking 4,239 firearms--an average of 11.6 per day--at airport security checkpoints around the country in 2018, a 7 percent increase over 2017. For more information, visit the prohibited items and firearms and ammunition pages at tsa.gov.