TSA: Number of guns confiscated at checkpoints grows

TSA and airport safety
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 8:35 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2021 at 10:27 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - With air travel projected to return to pre-pandemic levels this week according to TSA, gun owners who plan to fly need to check their bags before heading to the airport to make sure they haven’t accidentally left a gun in it.

Atlanta Police are still looking for the man responsible for the accidental gunshot that temporarily shut down Hartsfield-Jackson Airport last weekend.

TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz says people often bring a bag to the airport that they failed to unpack from a previous road trip, but she says the issue is still dangerous. “It’s obviously a giant concern because you see the way people fling their bags onto the x-ray belt and many of these guns are loaded " says Koshetz. “Many of them have ammunition chambered, so an accidental discharge is something that can happen again.”

Even with fewer flights this year, TSA says the number of guns confiscated at checkpoints has grown.

In Birmingham agents have confiscated 55 guns this year, a number that jumps to 88 if you count confiscations at the Huntsville and Mobile airports. Koshetz says a gun must be unloaded and in your checked baggage if you’re going to fly.

“That weapon has to be in a hard sided case. It must be double locked and it must be unloaded.”

Koshetz adds “While you might have a permit to possess that gun in Alabama, you might not have a permit to possess it in wherever you’re going. So pretty much you cannot take the gun out of the country. And also you need to know state laws on the other side of your trip, such as New York, where you can’t even have that gun in your checked bag without getting arrested.”

Koshsetz says getting stopped with a gun could mean criminal charges and a civil fine of up to 13-thousand dollars. She also asks that people be patient with TSA personnel this week and follow their social media accounts for updates.


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