MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A passenger brought a loaded gun in a carry-on bag to a security checkpoint at Miami International Airport Friday, the Transportation Security Administration says.
The gun was discovered and it became the just the latest in a growing number of guns discovered by TSA screeners at airports across the country.
TSA says that during the last week of July, screeners discovered 96 guns and lots of ammunition in carry-on bags across the United States. TSA said that is a new record. The agency’s concern with all those guns — safety.
“You see the way people fling their bags onto the x-ray belt in the checkpoints and if one of those guns is loaded and it discharges, there could be a fatal, tragic result,” said TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz.
Captain Rick Liddicott of the Broward Sheriff’s Office is the Commander at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport. He said this is an ongoing problem at FLL that is increasing.
“We are at 47 guns seized at the checkpoints to date,” Liddicott said. “We had 56 last year, the entire calendar year.”
TSA says it’s also a big problem nationally. In 2005, the agency discovered 660 guns in carry-on bags across the U.S. and in 2016. That number climbed to nearly 3,400 guns.
At FLL, TSA has found five guns in carry-on bags since July 24th including four that were loaded.
At MIA, TSA recovered two loaded guns in the past week, including one with a bullet in the chamber. In most of the cases where a traveler brings a gun to the security checkpoint, TSA and BSO said the passengers usually tell authorities they forgot the gun was in their bag.
“There isn’t a shred of evidence that any one of them tried to get that on the aircraft intentionally, were gonna do harm to anyone here or anywhere else. They just simply are irresponsible gun owners,” Liddicott said.
The goal is to stop guns from reaching the airport security area.
“Know where your firearm is at and check your bag before you come here,” Liddicott said.
If you bring a gun to an airport security checkpoint, you could face serious consequences. You could be arrested and you will likely face a civil penalty from TSA of up to $12,000. You can travel with your gun but you must secure it and check it and let the airline know that it’s part of your luggage.