TSA officers at airports in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Jacksonville and Pensacola stopped guns that passengers had brought to the security checkpoints – six of them in six days. As passenger volumes have increased, so have the guns. Every one of the guns was accompanied by ammunition; most were loaded.
Four men and two women, aged 23 to 45, face a civil penalty from the TSA that can exceed $13,000, even if they are not arrested. Several of them were arrested.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has stopped 141 guns this year across the state of Florida. During this stressful time in our nation, passengers are reminded to be aware of what is in their bag and their pockets so they can move right through the checkpoint without stopping for a pat down or bag search to remove prohibited items.
“If a gun is brought to the TSA screening checkpoint, the passenger will be interviewed by police and may be going to jail instead of to their desired destination,” said Sari Koshetz, a spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration. “If your goal is to maintain social distancing – and to leave on your trip - you should leave your prohibited items at home.”
The latest six guns were stopped at Pensacola International on June 3rd; Miami International on June 4th and 8th; Jacksonville International on June 6th; Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International and Tampa International on June 7th.
Across Florida, year to date, here is a sample of airports and the number of guns our TSA officers have kept out of the cabins of aircraft: 23 at Orlando International; 24 at Tampa International; 21 at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International; 22 at Miami International; and 12 at Jacksonville International.
TSA officers at airports across the state and country continue to intercept guns even as passenger volumes have plummeted compared to a year ago, but have risen sharply over the last week. TSA Checkpoint Numbers can be found here.
Firearms may be transported in your checked bags if they are declared to the airline at check-in, unloaded and placed in a locked, hard-sided case.
“The diligence of our officers during these trying times exemplifies their dedication to their mission to keep travelers safe,” said Koshetz.
In addition to firearms, TSA officers across the country stop literally tons of prohibited items such as knives and brass knuckles and they intercept hundreds of thousands of pounds of HazMat (hazardous materials such as flammable and corrosive household chemicals) every year as well. The Hazmat cannot travel in your carry-on or in your checked bag.
More TSA travel information can be found here.