TSA officials say on Monday during an X-ray checkpoint screening, they intercepted a Glock, loaded with six rounds. “This is the 41st firearm that has been brought to a checkpoint in Austin since the beginning of the year,” said Carrie Harmon, spokesperson for TSA.
They're hoping to stop that number from going up. Austin police arrested the passenger.
“TSA notifies law enforcement, they take possession of the weapon and decide if there will be any criminal charges,” said Harmon.
On top of that, passengers who do this, can also expect a fine that averages $4,000.
“In most cases, passengers say they forgot they had a firearm in their bag,” said Harmon.
“You should check your luggage for prohibited items,” said Jim Halbrook
Halbrook says there are police officers, stationed in and around the airport and they are on hand to make an arrest. “You won’t make your flight that day, it also puts a big delay in the screening process for the rest of the checkpoint,” said Halbrook.
“That is very unnerving to me,” said Teresa Schober, traveler.
Schober is familiar with ABIA, and now headed to Europe for vacation. “You hear about all the shootings and you want to feel safe in an airport because of all the security around you,” said Schober.
TSA says if you do want to pack a gun, you can, just only in checked bags.
There are rules outlined by TSA for that.
As the summer travel season takes off, airport officials hope customers can take heed.
In 2017 nationwide, TSA found nearly 3,957 firearms at checkpoints, a 17% increase since 2016.