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TSA's Vigilance: Record-Breaking Firearms Seizures at US Airports

In the first three quarters of 2023, the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported intercepting 5,072 firearms at security checkpoints in the country's airports.

At this rate, the agency estimates surpassing last year's record of 6,542 firearms prevented from being improperly transported on planes.

In the third quarter, ending on September 30th, Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) confiscated 1,820 firearms at checkpoints. This equates to an average of 19.8 firearms per day at TSA checkpoints, with over 94% of them being loaded.

"Passengers can travel with a firearm, but it must be in their checked luggage, unloaded, in a locked hard-sided case, and must be declared to the airline when checking the bag," clarified David Pekoske, TSA Administrator.

These items are strictly prohibited at security checkpoints, in the secure areas of an airport, or in the passenger cabin of an aircraft, even if a passenger has a concealed carry permit or is in a constitutional carry jurisdiction.

If a passenger brings a firearm to a TSA checkpoint, the TSO will notify local authorities to safely unload and take possession of the weapon. In some cases, law enforcement may also arrest or cite the passenger under local law.

The agency can impose a civil fine of up to $15,000, and passengers who show up at a security checkpoint with a firearm will lose TSA PreCheck eligibility for five years.

TSA's unwavering commitment to passenger safety and aviation security remains evident through its stringent policies and continued vigilance at airport security checkpoints. Travelers are reminded to adhere to these regulations and exercise responsible firearm transportation to ensure a smooth and secure travel experience for all.

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