ORLANDO -- TSA officers stopped 12 guns in the past nine days at multiple airports across Florida.
The guns were intercepted at security checkpoints in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Panama City, Destin-Ft. Walton Beach, Ft. Myers and Pensacola. As passenger volumes have increased, so have the numbers of passengers failing to leave their guns at home. Each of the guns was accompanied by ammunition; most were loaded.
Nine men and three women, aged 22 to 45, face a civil penalty from the TSA that may exceed $13,000, regardless of whether they were arrested by local police. Several of them were arrested.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has stopped 147 guns this year across the state of Florida. During this stressful time in our nation, passengers are reminded to check their pockets and bags before entering the TSA queue so they can move right through the checkpoint without stopping for a pat down or bag search to remove prohibited items.
“If you would not want a certain item to be in the possession of a passenger sitting next to you, then neither should you bring it to the airport,” said Sari Koshetz, a spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration.
The latest 12 guns in Florida were stopped at Pensacola International on June 3rd, Miami International on June 4th and 8th, Jacksonville International on June 6th and 9th, Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International and Tampa International on June 7th, Destin-Ft. Walton Beach on June 8th, Northwest Florida Beaches Airport in Panama City on June 9th, Southwest Florida International in Ft. Myers on June 10th, and Orlando International on June 10th and 11th.
Across Florida, year-to-date, here is a sample of where some of the 147 guns were intercepted by our TSA officers: 25 at Orlando International; 24 at Tampa International; 22 at Miami International; 21 at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International; and 13 at Jacksonville International.
Firearms may be transported in your checked bag 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 every day of the year,” said Koshetz.
In addition to firearms, TSA officers across the country every year stop tons of prohibited items such as knives and brass knuckles and they intercept hundreds of thousands of pounds of hazardous materials such as flammable and corrosive household chemicals. Hazardous materials are prohibited in your carry-on and in checked bags.
More TSA travel information can be found here.
The Transportation Security Administration was created to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems and ensure the freedom of movement for people and commerce. TSA uses a risk-based strategy and works closely with transportation, law enforcement and intelligence communities to set the standard for excellence in transportation security. For more information about TSA, please visit our website at tsa.gov.