SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake City International Airport ranks 8th in the nation for the number of firearms recovered through TSA checkpoints. Agents say it’s becoming a regular occurrence.
“Salt Lake City has had 92 firearms brought on carry-on luggage by travelers that were discovered by TSA officers,” says TSA Spokeswoman Lori Dankers. “Every time we discover a firearm, we have to cease all screening, make a notification to law enforcement, that passenger is escorted out of the security checkpoint, and everybody who is behind that passenger has to wait for that process to go through.”
Those caught with a firearm in checkpoint lines will get a visit from Salt Lake City Police and could see fines of up to $13,000.
“We are looking at what is really, unfortunately, a regular occurrence,” she says. “There is a proper way to travel with a firearm, that is to make sure it is in checked luggage, make sure that your firearm is unloaded, it’s placed in a locked hard-sided case, any ammunition is returned to its original packaging placed in that case, everything in your checked baggage. There is no excuse for bringing a firearm in your carry-on luggage.”
Dankers say the same goes for any realistic replica of a firearm. “BB guns, airlift guns, anything that looks like a firearm is not allowed in carry-on luggage, and the reason for that is often very difficult to tell if it is a replica or real thing.”
Agents say if you have a question about what you can and cannot bring on an airplane visit the TSA website or download the My TSA App.
“Based on what we are staffing for, we are expecting a lot of people to be traveling during [the holidays], and if you’re going to be one of them it is critical that you come prepared to the security checkpoint because you will have a lot of people around you.