FT. LAUDERDALE – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) have intercepted 25 guns – 22 of which were loaded – so far this year. Five of those were stopped this weekend.
Passengers face a civil penalty from the TSA that can reach as much as $13,910 and that is imposed regardless of whether the individual is arrested by our law enforcement partners. If the traveler is in the TSA PreCheck® program, those privileges will be lost for a period of time. And repeat offenders may lose their privileges permanently.
Last year TSA officers at FLL stopped 87 guns at the checkpoints – 72 of which were loaded – and which placed FLL once again in the top 10 airports across the country for passengers violating the federal law.
The TSA offers serious tips for navigating the airport checkpoint. The first is to leave your gun at home or declare it to the airline and place it unloaded, in a locked, hard-sided case in your checked baggage! While the number of passengers remains lower than during a pre-pandemic spring break season, the number of passengers bringing guns to the checkpoint at FLL is unfortunately higher: from January 1st through March 22nd last year, travelers entered the checkpoints with 14 guns.
Those flying out of FLL and any U.S. airport should follow these six tips for getting through the TSA checkpoint as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Tip 1: No guns in carry-ons. Airline passengers can fly with firearms only in checked baggage. All firearms must be properly packed and declared at check-in. Contact your airline for additional guidance. And it is your responsibility to know what the gun laws are on both sides of your trip.
Tip 2: Wear a face mask. You must. The implementation of the federal face mask mandate for travelers on Feb 2 requires that face masks be worn on all public conveyances and at stations, ports, or similar transportation hubs regardless of state and local laws. Those who refuse to wear a mask face fines from the TSA and additionally from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) if the infraction occurs while flying.
Tip 3: Leave all prohibited items at home. To reduce the likelihood of a bag search at the checkpoint, check for prohibited items by using the “What Can I Bring?” page on TSA.gov.
Tip 4: Prepare for the security checkpoint. Have a valid ID card readily available. Follow the liquids rule of 3.4 ounces or less, with the exception of hand sanitizer, which has a temporary 12-ounce limit in carry-on baggage.
Tip 5: Help is always available. Get live assistance by tweeting your questions and comments to @AskTSA or via Facebook Messenger, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST and weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. You can also call the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673.
Tip 6: Enroll now in TSA PreCheck®. “Travel with Ease” by enrolling in TSA PreCheck and avoid removing shoes, belts, liquids, food, laptops and light jackets. Most new enrollees receive a known traveler number within five days, and membership lasts for five years.
TSA is committed to supporting a healthy and secure environment for our employees, airport personnel and airline passengers. For additional information about TSA procedures during COVID-19 as part of our “Stay Healthy. Stay Secure” campaign, visit tsa.gov.