Q&A on the News

Q: Some time ago, the AJC published list of rules to be enforced when contraband guns were seized at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. With a recent article regarding Atlanta leading the nation in seized guns at the airport, what is done to the people who are in violation of these rules?

—Jackie Graves, Grayson

A: People caught with a gun in their bags at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport security checkpoints are subject to federal and state charges and could face a year in jail and a $100,000 fine.

The guns also are impounded as part of a federal effort — which began earlier this year — that hopes to limit the number of guns brought to airports.

The FBI, as reported by the AJC in March, began training Atlanta police so officers can issue federal charges against passengers caught with a gun in their bags at security checkpoints.

Enforcement began June 1.

A record 155 guns had been detected at Hartsfield-Jackson through Oct. 17. The previous record for a calendar year was 144, which was set in 2015.

If a gun is detected at a checkpoint, a Transportation Security Administration agent will sound an alarm and the lane is closed, the AJC has reported.

The passenger is escorted by Atlanta police to the airport precinct.

The guns detected at security checkpoints are loaded about 83 percent of the time, the TSA has said.

Andy Johnston with Fast Copy News Service wrote this column; AJC staff writer Kelly Yamanouchi contributed. Do you have a question? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).