TSA at Phoenix Sky Harbor find 9 guns in 9 days in carry-on bags
PHOENIX – Federal officials said they pulled nine guns out of carry-on luggage in nine days recently at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
The Transportation Security Administration said in a press release Monday seven of the guns were loaded. The handguns were found during checks made between Sept. 18 and Sept. 26.
The majority of the weapons were 9mm.
TSA officers at the Phoenix airport have discovered 80 firearms in carry-on luggage this year, and 83 overall, the agency said, up 21 from a month ago.
Nationwide, TSA officers have discovered over 2,190 firearms to date and 83% of those have been loaded. In 2019, a total of 4,432 firearms were found in carry-on luggage at airports across the country.
“If a gun is brought to the TSA screening checkpoint, the passenger will face a civil penalty that can exceed $13,000 and that fine is imposed even if you are not arrested or cited by our law enforcement partners,” said Jerry Agnew, TSA federal security director for the Phoenix airport, in a press release.
Violators who have Trusted Traveler status and expedited screening privileges will lose them, the agency said.
It is legal to transport firearms on commercial flights, the TSA said, but they must be unloaded and stored in a locked, hard-sided case and in checked luggage.