TSA recovers more firearms ahead of holiday season

TSA recovers more firearms ahead of holiday season
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 6:24 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Transportation Security Administration is reporting a nationwide increase in the number of firearms recovered at checkpoints, including the Sioux Falls Regional Airport.

“Nationwide, we have seen more than 5,000 guns this year. We are on track to probably top our number last year nationwide, which was our all-time high,” Jessica Mayle said, the region spokesperson for TSA.

Mayle says the Sioux Falls airport fits right in with the national trends.

“Sioux Falls, we stopped nine firearms this year. Last year, 2021, there were only two firearms stopped at that airport all year. 2020, obviously drastically reduced passenger numbers, we only had two, but then 2019, which is kind of that pre-pandemic level that we compare to, we only had three,” Mayle said.

The question is, why are the numbers increasing? Mayle believes it has something to do with states that have looser gun restrictions.

“I think people are perhaps used to carrying guns in certain other locations or times of their day, and they just sort of forget that the rules are very different when you go to the checkpoint,” Mayle said.

Even if you brought a gun to the checkpoint accidentally, TSA will still file a federal civil penalty which can cost you thousands of dollars.

“It’s never allowed through the checkpoint, and it’s never allowed in your carry-on bag, but if you do need to travel with it, it can go in your checked baggage in a locked hard-sided case. Ammunition needs to travel separately,” Mayle said.

If you do plan to travel this holiday season, it’s always important to know how to pack properly. You can find more details on TSA’s website under what can I bring.

“You can see by the numbers that we catching that we are stopping these weapons from making it through the checkpoint, and we just want to remind people to do their part and pack smart,” Mayle said.