TSA reveals 'dangerous trend' involving loaded guns in carry-on bags at Florida airports

FILE - Passengers at O'Hare International Airport wait in line to be screened at a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint.

With 581 guns having been intercepted at Florida airports in 2022, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is warning passengers in the state of how the "dangerous trend" can result in dire consequences. 

TSA said Thursday that nearly every single one of those guns was loaded and most had ammunition chambered. 

"Each gun presents a danger. Any incident could have tragic results," said TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz. "This ominous trend continues across the country. Every passenger should know exactly where their gun is before they enter the airport and make sure that it is not in a backpack, purse, suitcase or any carry-on that you plan to bring into the security checkpoint."

Can you bring a gun to the airport?

According to TSA, guns are not allowed in carry-on luggage and all firearms must be in checked baggage, as well as declared to the airline at check-in. All guns must be unloaded and in a locked, hard-sided case.

What are the penalties for bringing a gun through a TSA checkpoint?

Passengers can face a civil penalty from the TSA reaching as much as $13,910 regardless of whether the person is arrested. 

Those who are in the TSA PreCheck program can also lose their privileges for a period of time, and even permanently. 

Here's how many guns have been intercepted at Florida airports in 2022

  • Orlando International Airport - 107
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport - 104 
  • Tampa International Airport - 83
  • Miami International Airport - 67
  • Jacksonville International Airport - 47

Other Florida airports where guns were intercepted include Daytona Beach International, Southwest Florida International, Palm Beach International, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, Pensacola International, Tallahassee International, Gainesville Regional Airport, and Punta Gorda Airport.