I-Team: Record amount of guns found at Tampa International Airport

Nationally guns found by TSA are up

TAMPA, Fla. - Security screeners at Tampa International Airport are seeing record numbers of deadly weapons and guns coming through. It's a growing problem for them and you when it comes to wait times in lines.

"We're number one in the state for the number of deadly dangerous items that were finding" says TSA's Federal Security Director Lee Kair.

Kair tells us some items are obvious weapons, but some are hard to spot, like lipstick that's really a knife, or credit card knives. Stun gun flashlight's are showing up more and more.

Last year TSA set a national record in finding guns. This year they expect another record to be set.

At Tampa International screeners say the numbers are way up. In 2015 there were 42 guns spotted.
So far this year there have been 65, that's a 55% increase so far. The majority of the time the guns are loaded. Deadly weapons other than guns are up 25%. 

Kair says, "I can't speak to someone's intent I can only tell you that when they come they always say oh I forgot it was in the bag."

To combat the problem TSA is using bomb detecting dogs, screeners will rack up overtime this holiday season, and Kair spends his days walking through various security areas.

Places you typically see like checkpoints, and areas like the command center where resources are managed for 3 local airports.

"We also have a standing bridge call that's up with all the airports across the country, so if there's an instance of significance anywhere in the country or the world, everyone can hear that at the same time." Kair says.

If caught with a firearm you could face up to $11 thousand in fines and possibly jail time.

To prevent that you can use the TSA app and type in any item you have questions about and it will tell you if you can bring them through a checkpoint.

You can fly with an unloaded firearm, you just have to declare it at the ticket counter, fill out a form, and check it in to store.

Guns checked must be in a hard case with a lock.

If you have a news tip email Investigator Jarrod Holbrook at jarrod.holbrook@wfts.com.

Print this article Back to Top