TSA officers continue to detect high rate of firearms at Kentucky airports

Local Press Release
Friday, October 2, 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Transportation Security Administration discovered a total of 24 firearms at airport security checkpoints throughout the state of Kentucky between March and September 2020.

During the six-month period, TSA officers at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky found a total of 15 firearms.  Five guns were detected at Louisville Muhammed Ali International Airport, along with another four at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington.

Each of the firearms were discovered in passenger carry-on bags. In each incident, TSA notified local law enforcement, who removed the passengers and the firearms from the checkpoint area.

A total of 44 firearms were detected during the same period last year, however, passenger volumes have ranged between 60-90 percent lower in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even with much lower than normal passenger numbers, we continue to find firearms at a very high rate at security checkpoints,” said Ray Williams, TSA Federal Security Director for Kentucky. “Passengers must remember they’re responsible for the contents of bags and our advice is to thoroughly inspect all personal belongings to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items before coming to the airport.”

While firearms may be transported in checked baggage (provided they are declared to the airline, in a proper carrying case and unloaded), they are prohibited in carry-on bags.

Security is the first concern of the TSA, and having these items in bags that are traveling with you on the aircraft is dangerous to other travelers and can be easily mistaken as an intentional attempt to bring a prohibited item onto an aircraft. 

In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face stiff financial civil penalties from TSA: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/civil-enforcement

For more information about TSA prohibited items, please follow these links: