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Tampa International Airport sees rise in guns stopped at TSA checkpoints

17 guns stopped in June, highest since this time last year
TSA Guns
Posted at 4:24 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 05:53:01-04

TAMPA, Fla. — It's been a busy year for agents with TSA across the country. The agency has reported that they're stopping 17 guns daily across the nation.

Kirk Skinner has seen that first hand as the federal security director over Tampa International Airport, St. Peter-Clearwater International Airport, and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.

He said people forget about more than guns when they walk through security.

"Whether it’s pistols, knives, zap canes, stun guns, pepper spray, hammers. You name the type of weapon and people have tried to bring it through," Skinner said.

He said it seems they're doing so more often. Since the beginning of 2022, 76 firearms have been stopped at TSA checkpoints between the three airports. At St. Pete-Clearwater airport, 11 were stopped so far this year.

In June alone, 17 were stopped at TPA, two at St. Pete-Clearwater, and four at Sarasota-Bradenton.

"It’s part of human nature to be forgetful," Skinner said.

That said, Skinner said being a responsible gun owner remains the top priority.

“I have not seen yet anybody who has brought the weapon at checkpoint with nefarious intent. They didn’t bring the weapon in order to attack someone at the checkpoint or try to get it on the aircraft. There just hasn’t been any evidence to support that. It’s just that they didn’t act responsibly," Skinner said.

Close to 6,000 guns were caught through TSA checkpoints across the country in 2021. If the current trend continues TSA officials expect to surpass that number by the end of the year.