We’ve heard about it and we’ve read about it—from weapons to drugs and everything in between, there’s no limit to the prohibited items airline passengers will attempt to smuggle through security these days.
Over the course of the past nine days, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in Florida has seized 12 guns at airport checkpoints throughout the state, including ones in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Panama City, Destin-Ft. Walton Beach, Ft. Myers and Pensacola. Additionally, TSA also found ammunition with the weapons, and most of them were even loaded.
The nine men and three women, whose ages range from 22 to 45, all face a TSA civil penalty that can run anywhere up to $13,000 and beyond.
“If you would not want a certain item to be in the possession of a passenger sitting next to you, then neither should you bring it to the airport,” said Sari Koshetz, a spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration.
While firearms are allowed to be transported in checked bags if they’re declared at check-in, TSA wants to remind passengers to check their pockets and bags before heading through security. If guidelines aren’t adhered to, passengers run the risk of their firearms being seized and lost to them forever.
In total, 147 guns have been intercepted at TSA checkpoints throughout the state this year, including 25 at Orlando International, 24 at Tampa International, 22 at Miami International, 21 at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International and 13 at Jacksonville International, which is a lot considering how COVID-19 essentially halted travel worldwide for a good portion of the year.
“The diligence of our officers during these trying times exemplifies their dedication to their mission to keep travelers safe every day of the year,” said Koshetz.
Florida, however, doesn’t seem to be the only state with this problem. From March 22 through April 22 of this year, at a time when the travel industry was hit hard by the ongoing pandemic, TSA seized 58 guns across the nation. While that number is relatively low in comparison to the 346 confiscated in 2019 during the same time period, after factoring in the number of passengers being screened this year compared to last, the rate of guns found by TSA has almost tripled.
Source: Read Full Article