TSA shares data on guns found in carry-ons, being held

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Midland, TEXAS (ABC Big 2 News) – TSA leaders say so far this year, officers have stopped nearly 4,500 travelers across the country from carrying guns onto their flights. It’s a 20 year record.

“Transportation security officers have discovered more firearms at checkpoints than they have in any other time in the agency’s history,” says TSA Media Spokesperson Patricia Mancha.

TSA rules say that passengers cannot carry a gun on them, or in their carry-on luggage.

” The most common excuse or the most common reason that we get from travelers is ‘I forgot it was in my bag.’ Unacceptable,” says Mancha.

The gun must be put in a container with an approved lock, and the gun must be unloaded in your checked bag.

“You must declare your firearm with the airline with which you’re traveling,” says Mancha.

If you don’t declare your gun, you can face fines and possibly jail time. Some people here at Midland International Airport shared what they think about the news that the TSA has found a record number of guns on people at airports.

“I don’t think it’s really good for people to be carrying guns around airports, and in airports,” says passenger James White Jr..

While some people told us they don’t like the idea, others, who spoke off-camera, said they’re worried about their rights being infringed. Others said the rules are the rules.

” I’m voting for the TSA. That’s a tough job, we spend a lot of tax money for their duties, and they’re keeping us safe,” says passenger Larry Keast.

Mancha says she doesn’t want to speculate, but says she wonders if Texas’s new Open Carry Law, which makes it legal for most people over 21 to carry a handgun without a permit, is causing confusion for some passengers.

“I think that people may think that because they can take the gun to the grocery store, they can take the gun to the airport,” says Mancha.

At Midland International Airport, the TSA says 15 firearms have been found at the checkpoint so far this year compared to the Texas airport with the highest number: 232 for DFW. A local gun store owner says it’s critical to know the laws here in Texas, and the laws of the state you may travel to.

“The laws are always changing. It’s something I have to touch up on every year. Like I said, state-to-state the vary, something could change, you’re just not aware,” says E&G Guns Owner Eddie Gomez.

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