Although fewer people traveled in 2020, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) confiscated double the number of guns compared to 2019. According to WTOP, TSA found about 10 firearms per million passengers in 2020 and about 5 per million passengers in 2019.
In total, the agency found 3,257 guns last year, and 83% of them were loaded. At the same time, airport traffic has dropped by about 40%. In July 2020, TSA found more than 15 guns per million travelers – even when travel was down by 75% and at one of its lowest levels during the pandemic.
TSA screeners stopped passengers at 243 airports and discovered the most guns (220) in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Is It Illegal to Bring a Gun to the Airport?
No. According to TSA guidance on Transporting Firearms and Ammunition, you can bring a gun to the airport, but you must do so under certain conditions and in accordance with all local, state, and international laws.
You can only transport “unloaded firearms in a locked hard-sided container as checked baggage,” and you must declare your firearm and ammunition to the airline when checking your bag at the ticket counter.
What If I Forget to Remove a Weapon From My Carry-On?
Traveling can be stressful, and all too often, we see clients forget to remove the weapon(s) they usually carry from their purse or day bag. Unfortunately, your concealed weapons permit does not apply in an airport, and authorities may confiscate your weapon and charge you with a Class 1 misdemeanor if you fail to store and transport it correctly.
Section 18.2-287.01 of the Code of Virginia addresses carrying weapons in air carrier airport terminals.
To make matters worse, TSA may also impose civil penalties of up to $13,669 per violation per person for individuals who bring weapons to an airport security checkpoint.
For the reasons above, we urge you to double-check your baggage before leaving home. If you plan on bringing a firearm or any other weapon, make sure to adhere to TSA guidelines and all applicable laws.
Of course, everyone makes mistakes, so if you run into trouble in the airport security line, stay calm, cooperate with TSA and local authorities, and ask to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
When you are able, contact The Law Office of Ann Thayer, PLLC for sound legal guidance and aggressive defense. Rest assured, our team will fight for the most favorable outcome in your case, and our free consultations are available 24/7.
We are here for you during your hour of need – call us at (703) 940-0001 or contact us online to discuss your case and secure your future today.