TSA: Record number of passengers bringing loaded guns to Florida airports

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Transportation Security Administration says they’re finding a record number of guns at Florida’s airport security checkpoints, and many are loaded.

According to the TSA, their officers have seen a “surge” in passengers bringing guns to airport checkpoints.


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Three guns were stopped by TSA officers at Orlando International Airport Friday. Three more were found the previous Friday.

The TSA says all six guns were loaded with ammunition when they were discovered.

“This is a disturbing trend and one that threatens the safety of other passengers and our officers,” TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz said. “You see the way some travelers fling their bags onto the x-ray belt for screening, posing the risk of an accidental discharge with tragic results.”

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TSA officers stopped three guns at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Thursday, breaking a record for the number of passengers bringing guns to checkpoints there in a given year at 103 to date. The previous record was set in 2019 at exactly 100.

80 guns have been found at Orlando International Airport so far this year with months left to go.

“The stage is set for an unfortunate and dangerous record...a record that no airport wants to set,” Koshetz said. “But many will top 2019′s gun numbers even while passenger volumes still remain lower than in that pre-pandemic year.”

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The TSA says Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, and Tampa typically fall into the top 10 or 11 airports in the country for passengers arrested for bringing guns to checkpoints.

Penalties include a loss of PreCheck privileges and civil penalties from the TSA that could exceed $13,000 regardless of whether an arrest is made.

The TSA advises passengers to leave their guns at home or be sure to declare it to their airline at check-in. The gun should be unloaded and in a locked, hard-sided case.

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