By Erika Haas
Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) is already well on its way to breaking last year’s record for the number of firearms discovered by TSA agents.
In 2016, TSA officers detected 24 firearms at various BWI checkpoints, a 62-percent increase from 2015, in which only 16 were detected. ??Not even halfway through 2017 and TSA agents have already seized 14 firearms at the Baltimore airport, meaning it will likely surpass last year’s numbers.
While the number is disheartening, it’s not exactly surprising. TSA agents have been finding more and more firearms in carry-on bags every year. In 2016, TSA found a record-breaking 3,391 firearms in unchecked bags across the country, a 28-percent from 2015 when only 2,653 guns were discovered. Of those found in 2016, 83-percent were loaded.
The top offending airports last year were Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with 198 discoveries and Dallas/Fort Worth International with 192.
It is important to remember that firearms are NEVER permitted in carry-on bags and passengers who attempt to transport guns in their unchecked luggage will face criminal charges and up to $12,000 in fines. Magazines and ammunition clips are also prohibited in carry-on bags.
Passengers are allowed to carry a firearm in their checked luggage. However, they must declare all firearms at the ticket counter, and the gun must be unloaded, stored in a hard-shell case, and locked with TSA-approved locks.
If you’re still unsure of how to travel with a firearm, be smart and check the TSA website before traveling.
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