Florida airports are once again in the top airports in the country for flyers bringing guns to the TSA checkpoints in 2020: Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood and Orlando were in the top 10 and Tampa International came in at 11th place, Miami International 13th and Jacksonville International placed at 24th.
Passengers: remember to unpack before you repack for a flight and know where your gun is. And that must not be in your carry-on bag!
The proportion of travelers entering the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints with guns has risen dramatically both across the state and nationally. Guns are found in suitcases, purses, backpacks and computer bags. Among the consequences: missing your flight due to the ensuing investigation, missing your whole trip due to a possible arrest, losing your TSA Precheck privileges and paying a large fine.
Here are the year-end totals for some of the airports in the state and the number of guns intercepted by TSA officers: 87 at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL); 79 at Orlando International Airport (MCO); 70 at Tampa International; 60 guns at Miami International Airport (MIA); and 36 at Jacksonville International Airport.
“Most of the guns brought to our checkpoints have been loaded, many with ammunition chambered. An accidental discharge could result in tragedy,” said TSA Spokesperson Sari Koshetz.
Passengers bringing a firearm to a TSA federal security checkpoint will be assessed a civil penalty up to $13,669 and this civil penalty is independent of whether you are arrested or face criminal charges from our law enforcement partners. Fines may also be assessed for other threat items brought to the checkpoint.
Passengers are responsible for knowing what the laws are on each side of their trip. This is especially important if you are leaving the state. Even after learning that you may bring your gun to your destination, the only way it can be transported is in checked luggage. The gun must be declared to the airline at check-in, unloaded and placed in a locked, hard-sided case.
See TSA’s national release here: https://www.tsa.gov/news/press/releases/2021/01/26/tsa-firearm-catch-rate-doubles-2020-highest-agencys-19-year-history