ORLANDO, Fla. - Passengers across Florida have broken the record for the number of guns brought to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) checkpoints this year — prompting TSA to issue warnings ahead of the busy holiday season.
"As we enter the busiest holiday travel period, remember if you are going to travel with your gun it must be in your checked bag, but be sure you know what the gun laws are on each side of your trip or you may be heading to jail instead of to your family gathering," Koshetz added. "Guns may not be legal to transport even in checked baggage in some jurisdictions."
Back in September, TSA issued a similar warning of passengers bringing loaded guns in carry-on bags.
Florida passengers have brought 700 guns to TSA checkpoints, breaking previous years' records with 12 airports in Florida setting a local record, TSA said.
The largest number of guns TSA officers intercepted at each airport are:
- Orlando International Airport - 129
- Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport 120
- Tampa International - 102
- Miami International - 83
- Jacksonville International Airport - 58
- Southwest Florida International - 37
- Palm Beach International - 28
- Pensacola International - 24
- Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport - 22
- St. Pete-Clearwater International - 17
- Tallahassee International - 13
- Sarasota Bradenton International - 13
- Gainesville Regional Airport - 10
- Punta Gorda Airport - 10
- Daytona Beach International - 8
- Melbourne Orlando International - 5
"An accidental discharge could result in tragedy," said TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz. "Every passenger bares the responsibility of knowing exactly where their gun is before entering the security checkpoint."
Many of these passengers were arrested or issued notices to appear in court. Koshetz advises: "Don’t let bringing a gun to a federal checkpoint be the reason you cannot answer ‘no’ to the question often asked on job applications: have you ever been arrested."
Can I bring a gun on an airplane?
Firearms must be in checked baggage. All firearms must be properly packed and declared to the airline at check-in, which means unloaded and in a locked, hard-sided case. Contact your airline for additional guidance. And it's your responsibility to know what the gun laws are on both sides of your trip.