TSA: Guns caught at Georgia airport checkpoints at double national rate

The TSA has fined passengers millions in total for being caught with guns

The TSA has fined passengers millions in total for being caught with guns

The Transportation Security Administration said guns were caught at airport security checkpoints in Georgia at more than double the national rate in 2023.

Last year, one firearm was detected for every 127,447 passengers screened at airport security checkpoints around the country, according to the agency. In Georgia, the rate was one firearm for every 61,646 passengers screened.

Hartsfield-Jackson International again had the most guns caught at security checkpoints of any airport in the nation in 2023, with 451 firearms found. It’s the eighth year in a row that the Atlanta airport has had the most guns intercepted in the country.

According to officials, some passengers who carry firearms regularly say they forgot they had a gun in their bag. Some other states have more restrictive gun laws.

Officials have advised travelers to ensure they don’t have prohibited items in their bags before heading to the airport.

Airports in Savannah, Augusta Regional and Albany tied or broke annual records for firearm detections in 2023, according to TSA.

A breakdown of TSA firearm discoveries at Georgia airports for the past five years. Source: TSA

Credit: Source: TSA

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Credit: Source: TSA

Firearms and ammunition are prohibited in carry-on bags on airlines. Passengers can travel with an unloaded gun if properly packed in a locked, hard-sided case in their checked bag and declared before flying at the airline check-in counter.

When a gun is detected at an airport checkpoint, TSA notifies law enforcement to respond to the checkpoint. What happens to the firearm and the traveler is up to the discretion of local law enforcement, according to TSA.

Those caught with guns at airport checkpoints could also face civil fines of up to about $15,000. TSA also says those caught can lose their eligibility for the TSA PreCheck trusted traveler program for up to five years.

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