It’s going to cost you more if you are caught trying bring a gun through airport security. It comes after 2022 netted a record number of stops for firearms — with the vast majority of them loaded.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said officers intercepted a record 6,301 firearms at checkpoints this year. More than 88% were loaded.
That was as of Dec. 16. TSA projects it will catch a total of 6,600 for the year by the time New Year’s Day rolls around.
The previous record was 5,972 firearms detected in 2021. In fact, the number of firearms detected has been on a steady upward track since 2010 — with one exception. It dropped in 2020, presumably due to decreased air travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
No matter what the laws are in Oregon or any other state, it is illegal to have a gun in carry-on bags when going through TSA security checkpoints. That’s also true if the owner has a concealed weapon permit. Firearms are only allowed in checked baggage and must be unloaded. They must be packed to TSA specifications and must be declared at check-in.
In an effort to increase compliance, TSA has increased the maximum civil penalty for a firearms violation from $13,910 to $14,950. TSA says the total amount is determined on a case-by-case basis.
In addition, TSA will continue to revoke PreCheck eligibility for at least five years to those passengers caught with a firearm in their possession at checkpoints.
TSA may conduct enhanced screening for those passengers to ensure no other threats are present. Depending on state or local law in the airport’s location, who bring firearms to a checkpoint may be arrested by law enforcement.