Increase in guns discovered at Amalie Arena

Posted at 11:04 PM, Jan 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-12 18:27:30-05

Since the Paris terrorist attacks, security workers at Amalie Arena are seeing more guns being brought to events.

The I-Team got an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look into security at Amalie Arena. You may be surprised at what some people try to get into Lightning games.

For 16 years, Mary Milne has been working at Amalie Arena managing security teams.

"This is something we've never seen before, more people are feeling the need to protect their families at events," said Milne.

When the circus was at Amalie, Mary says checkpoint screeners spotted more than a dozen guns.

Since September, Amalie security has detected an additional 12 guns at Lightning games.

"I think, really since Paris, people are concerned for their safety, and you're seeing more and more people looking for ways to protect themselves personally," said Milne.

Also since September, security teams have confiscated 513 knives -- just at Lightning games.

"We're averaging about 20 knives per game," she said.

Screeners have also seized nearly 200 canisters of mace or pepper spray

"The newer thing we're starting to see more of is what we call "tin cats" ... a new version of brass knuckles," said Milne.

Since the Paris attack, Mary has beefed up security and law enforcement throughout the building. More bags are being searched at entrance metal detectors.

Some of the other security measures you won't see include more eyes scanning crowds. A team monitors numerous cameras, and the office is strategically placed near the loading dock so they can see what vendors are doing and who's coming in. Security are monitoring deliveries, vendors, vehicles and even the media more closely. Mary is constantly making adjustments behind the scenes.

"At the end of the day, we all want to go home and enjoy living in this great community," she said.

The following is a list of restricted items that can't come into Amalie Arena events:

  • For hockey and arena football games: Still cameras with a lens larger than 6 inches are prohibited*
  • For concerts: Cameras with a detachable lens are prohibited*
  • Video and audio recording devices and camera bags
  • Large bags, backpacks or wrapped packages
  • Binoculars are permitted, but binocular bags are not permitted
  • Laser pointers
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Bottles, cans or containers of any kind
  • Sharp objects, sticks or poles of any kind
  • Fireworks
  • Pepper spray or mace
  • Food or beverage items
  • Drugs or controlled substances
  • Chairs, folding chairs or any other type of individual chair
  • Wrapped gifts
  • Large banners or signs
  • Banners or signs with objectionable language
  • Banners or signs on a pole of any kind

(*For concerts and other events, the camera policy will vary depending on the event promoter.)