ARLINGTON, Va. — More travelers are showing up at airport security checkpoints with guns, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
The TSA says 96 guns were found at airports across the country in the final week of July, a new weekly record.
It beats the previous record of 89, set just a few weeks earlier.
What’s most concerning to TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein is that 85 of the guns recovered in the final week of July were loaded and 26 had bullets in their chambers.
“You never want to bring a firearm to a checkpoint,” Farbstein told WTOP.
If you want to travel with your gun, she said it needs to be unloaded, placed into a hard-sided case, locked and taken to luggage check-in where it can be transported with checked luggage — not in the cabin.
The most common place for a gun being found is in carry-on luggage.
The top excuse?
“They forgot they had their gun with them,” said Farbstein.
“The next most common excuse is that my husband packed my bag or my wife packed my bag. But I can tell you that neither of those excuses fly.”
She said that since most of these guns found were loaded — and many had a bullet in the chamber — those excuses are even more concerning to her.
“If you are an owner of a firearm, you really do need to know where your gun is at all times.”
Farbstein said if a gun is found at security, that line comes to a complete stop, preventing other passengers from being screened and making their flights.
It also means that police get involved, and depending on the jurisdiction, offenders could face a whole heap of trouble.
Farbstein said if you are caught with a gun at Reagan National Airport or Dulles International Airport, you will likely end up with a citation. But if you are caught at Richmond International Airport, you will likely be arrested.
And no matter where you fly, the TSA can fine you for having a firearm at a checkpoint. Farbstein said the first offense is a $3,000 penalty.
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