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PACKING HEAT?: Check your weapons

Data from the American Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reveals that more than 5700 firearms at airport security checkpoints have been confiscated in 2021 so far – the highest ever in a single year. That breaks down to about 16 weapons every single day – and here’s the really scary part – 85 percent of them were loaded.

The previous yearly record was 4,400 in 2019.

Airline passengers are permitted to transport an unloaded firearm – but only in checked baggage.

Passengers who are found with firearms at checkpoints face fines of up to US $13,910 – higher for repeat offenders. Local law enforcement can confiscate the weapons at checkpoints and can arrest those in possession of a firearm.

“It’s an all time high,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske told reporters this week. “The reason? I think there’s just more firearm carriage in the country. That’s the best answer I can give you.”

“It’s a pretty costly mistake to make,” he said and noted that the TSA will “always proceed with a civil penalty action that will cost thousands of dollars after we complete an investigation.”

It also refers the issue to law enforcement if local or state laws are broken.

“We see a strengthening in the airline travel industry toward pre-pandemic levels and our goal is to ensure you as the passenger have a safe and secure flight,” Pekoske said and he thanked TSA.officers across the country, “who, each and every day, meet the travel volume demand and help keep airport screening lanes moving to ensure millions of passengers arrive at their destinations safely.”

First published at Travel Industry Today

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