HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — As more people travel again, Transportation Security Administration has stopped more firearms during checkpoints.
In 2022, 61 guns have already been confiscated at Alabama airports, 16 of those at Huntsville International (HSV). Among those firearms, TSA officials say most were loaded and many had ammunition chambered, posing the risk of an accidental discharge.
Firearms aren’t only showing up at HSV, though. TSA shared they are on track to break the national record for firearms collected – set in 2021 – with 5,700 guns. 85% of the firearms confiscated last year were loaded.
In Birmingham, 40 guns have been taken up so far this year, with 157 confiscated in Nashville.
HSV Spokesperson Mary Swanstrom urges flyers to thoroughly check the list of items prohibited by TSA in order to have a smooth travel day.
“There are many things you cannot bring and that includes firearms,” Swanstrom told News 19. “Some folks have them, but they just forget they have them with them, or they have them in their bag. Leave them at home or leave them securely in the car. Don’t bring them with you because they can cause you to be stopped in TSA which will prevent you from getting on your flight on time.”
Editor’s Note: For clarity, you can bring a firearm with you while traveling on an airplane, but it must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container in your CHECKED luggage, according to TSA.
Passengers may be fined if a firearm is brought in a carry-on bag through TSA. These fines range from $3,000 to $10,000 plus a criminal referral to law enforcement.
Repeat offenders should expect a higher fee of up to $14,000.