MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Transportation security officials have a reminder for you – leave your gun at home.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is asking gun owners across the state to be aware of what is in their bags or they might be heading to jail.
“Travelers are reminded that they might be heading to jail rather than to their desired destination if they don’t focus on what is inside their carry-on bags,” said TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz.
It’s that or a hefty fine.
“Whether or not a passenger is charged criminally, they will face civil penalties …. up to $13,000,” Koshetz told CBS4’s Bianca Peters.
This as a record number of passengers have brought guns to the checkpoints at Miami International Airport (MIA), Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Palm Beach International Airport – and that’s not the scariest part.
“So far this year we have stopped 48 guns at MIA, 62 at FLL and 25 at PBI. The escalation at each airport is not only troubling but dangerous as most of the guns have been loaded,” said Koshetz.
Aside from guns, TSA officers say they confiscate thousands of prohibited items like knives, brass knuckles, and even hazardous materials that are flammable or corrosive from travelers’ bags ever year.
They’re things security officials believe could be prevented by checking your luggage and practicing the 3-1-1 rule.
TSA officials say every time they have to stop a traveler to take prohibited items, it slows down the line for everyone else especially during the holidays.
“This airport screens on average of 59,000 passengers today, around the holidays that number can go up to 75,000 passengers,” said Koshetz while at Miami International Airport (MIA).
A handy tip to speed things up is, if you have electronics larger than a cell phone, make sure to take them out of your bag and place them in a bin.