It’s OK to fly out of Sky Harbor with guns, but follow proper procedures
PHOENIX — Air travelers aren’t prohibited from bringing along their guns, but there are procedures they must follow — or it could cost them thousands of dollars.
“We’re not saying you can’t travel with your firearm,” said Lorie Dankers, spokeswoman with the Transportation Security Administration. “We’re just saying travel with it in the correct procedures.”
She said travelers must first unload their guns and place the ammunition in its original case. They should then place the unloaded gun and ammo inside a hard-sided case and secure it with a minimum of two locks for smaller handguns and three locks for rifles.
The case should then be placed in a checked bag. Once at the airport, travelers should check their bag with the airline and declare each firearm.
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Dankers said travelers should never pack their weapons in carry-on bags.
“That can be a very expensive mistake,” she said. “TSA will levy a civil penalty against passengers who bring firearms from between $1,960 to $9,800.”
TSA evaluates each incident on a case-by-case basis and will determine the penalty amount based on individual factors.
Over the last few years, the number of firearms found by TSA officials in carry-on luggage at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport has increased. In 2016, a total of 101 guns were found. That number increased to 115 the next year. As of Thursday, 66 guns had been found this year.
Sky Harbor now ranks sixth in the country for the most guns found in carry-on luggage.
“We would like to see that trend reversed and have people follow these simple procedures,” Dankers said.