TAMPA, Fla. — The Transportation Security Administration says more guns were taken from airport passengers in 2019 than ever before, and Tampa International was among the top 10 airports where they were found.
According to TSA, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags or on passengers at checkpoints across the country. Of those, TSA says 87% were loaded.
“The continued increase in the number of firearms that travelers bring to airport checkpoints is deeply troubling,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “There is a proper way to travel safely with a firearm. First and foremost, it should be unloaded. Then it should be packed in a hard-sided locked case, taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared, and checked.”
The top 10 airports were:
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International — 323 firearms recovered
- Dallas/Fort Worth International — 217 firearms recovered
- Denver International — 140 firearms recovered
- George Bush Intercontinental — 138 firearms recovered
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International — 132 firearms recovered
- Dallas Love Field — 103 firearms recovered
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport — 100 firearms recovered
- Nashville International Airport — 97 firearms recovered
- Orlando International Airport — 96 firearms recovered
- Tampa International — 87 firearms recovered
Travelers who bring firearms to checkpoints could face criminal charges and federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. TSA says a typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100. Click here for a complete list of penalties.
You can travel with a firearm in a checked bag, just make sure you follow these guidelines from TSA.