Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a gun at three Florida airports yesterday and at another today. Travelers brought the guns to Orlando International (MCO), Miami International (MIA), Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL) and Tampa International (TPA) airports.
Year-to-date, 45 guns have been intercepted by the TSA at MCO, 41 at FLL, 40 at TPA and 33 at MIA. The total statewide year-to-date is 249.
“Be sure to know where your gun is before leaving for the airport,” said TSA’s Deputy Federal Security Director Greg Hawko at MCO. “Double check your bags before you leave the house. Carrying prohibited items will slow your security process and could be a very expensive mistake.”
Passengers bringing a firearm to a TSA federal security checkpoint will be assessed a civil penalty up to $13,669, in addition to criminal penalties determined by our law enforcement partners.
In Orlando, yesterday’s loaded firearm was the 10th intercepted by the TSA just this month.
"The Orlando Police Department strives to ensure the highest level of safety for the visitors traveling through the Orlando International Airport,” noted Lieutenant Daniel R. Brady. “This includes strictly enforcing violations of Florida Law associated with unlawfully bringing a firearm into a TSA security screening checkpoint."
Over the past several weeks, TSA has experienced a steady growth of travelers coming through airport checkpoints and an escalating number of passengers forgetting to leave their guns and other prohibited items at home.
In addition to the gun stopped yesterday, TSA officers working at MCO stopped one gun on August 3rd, one on August 6th, two on August 7th, two on August 14th, two on August 21st and one on August 22nd.
In addition to this important reminder about guns, the TSA has made a number of modifications that travelers should heed:
Separate food for X-ray screening. Passengers should place their carry-on food items into a clear plastic bag and place that bag into a bin. Food items often trigger an alarm during the screening process; separating the food from the carry-on bag lessens the likelihood that a TSA officer will need to open the carry-on bag and remove the food items for a closer inspection. This requirement allows social distancing, reduces the TSA officer’s need to touch a person’s container of food and reduces potential for cross-contamination. TSA Precheck members do not need to remove items from their bags.
Remember 3-1-1. Liquids, gels and aerosols shoulc be 3.4 ounces or less in carry-on bags except in response to COVID-19, TSA is allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags. Passengers are required to remove the hand sanitizer from the carry-on bag before being submitted for X-ray screening.
Maintain social distancing. Passengers should maintain social distance from other travelers throughout their security experience – in the queue, through the screening process, while collecting items from bins and after completing the security screening process.
Wear facial protection. TSA officers are wearing facial protection. Travelers at airports such as MCO are required to wear face protection as well. Passengers may need to adjust their masks during the screening process.
Pass on the bins. Travelers are encouraged to remove items such as belts and items from their pockets, like wallets, keys and phones, and put them directly into their carry-on bags instead of into the bins to reduce touch-points during the screening process.
The TSA reminds passengers that in addition to guns, knives, tools greater than 7 inches and martial arts devices are not permitted in carry-on bags. 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 traveler is responsible for knowing the gun laws within the state of departure and the state of arrival, as well as municipal laws, if applicable.