BURBANK, Calif. - Officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Hollywood Burbank Airport detected a loaded firearm Wednesday morning around 6 a.m. during the routine X-ray screening of carry-on luggage at the security checkpoint.
The weapon, a 9 mm Glock 19 pistol loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition, was discovered in the bag of a male passenger ticketed for travel to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Upon discovery of the firearm, TSA notified the Hollywood Burbank Airport Police, which responded to the security checkpoint. The traveler was cited on a local charge, the weapon was confiscated and the traveler was permitted to continue on his flight.
This firearm discovery at Hollywood Burbank Airport was one of 13 guns TSA officers discovered in carry-on luggage in a 24-hour period Wednesday. In the first five days of August of 2020, TSA officers nationwide have discovered 52 firearms at airport security checkpoints. By comparison, TSA officers discovered 46 firearms over the same five-day period in 2019.
“Despite a 70% decrease in passenger volumes nationwide this August as compared to last August, firearms are being brought to the security checkpoint in alarming numbers,” said TSA Federal Security Director Anita Minaei who oversees TSA operations at Hollywood Burbank Airport. “If you are planning on traveling with a firearm, be warned. TSA officers remain focused on their mission of keeping security threats off of commercial aircraft. If you bring a gun to the security checkpoint in your carry-on luggage, it will be an inconvenient and expensive mistake.”
TSA will review the circumstances of the incidents and levy a civil penalty against each of the passengers. The recommended civil penalty for a firearm starts at $2,050 and can go up to the statutory maximum of more than $10,250 per violation. Civil penalties for stun guns start at $350 and can go up to $2,050. TSA evaluates each incident on a case-by-case basis.
In addition to civil penalties, individuals who violate rules regarding traveling with firearms will have Trusted Traveler status and TSA PreCheckTM expedited screening benefits revoked for a period of time. The duration of the disqualification will depend upon the seriousness of the offense and if there is a repeated history of violations.
So far in 2020, TSA officers at Hollywood Burbank Airport have detected six firearms in carry-on luggage compared to eight firearms in all of 2019. Nationwide this year, TSA officers have discovered 1,580 firearms to date and 83% of those have been loaded. In all of 2019, a total of 4,432 firearms were found in carry-on luggage at airports across the country.
Firearms can be transported on a commercial aircraft only if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and placed in checked baggage. Ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames, receivers, clips and magazines are also prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be checked. Any type of replica firearm is prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be transported in checked luggage.
At the airport during the check-in process, a passenger should go to the airline ticket counter to declare the firearm, ammunition and any firearm parts. Prior to traveling, passengers are encouraged to check gun laws and regulations at their destination to ensure they are in compliance with local and state laws. TSA also recommends travelers check with their airline prior to their flight to ensure they comply with any airline-specific requirements.
Stun guns and other electro-shock weapons are never allowed in carry-on luggage. In addition, they must be transported in checked baggage in such a manner that the device is inoperable from accidental discharge.
More information on traveling legally with a firearm is available on TSA’s website.