In addition to steep fines and criminal prosecution, bringing a gun to a TSA checkpoint triggers a response that slows the screening process for other passengers.
That comes as passenger numbers, which dropped during the pandemic, are rebounding. En la ultima semana, TSA has screened about 80% of the traffic it did pre-pandemic, with a few days actually busier than the equivalent weekdays in 2019.
The agency launched a hiring campaign this spring to handle the surge. It set a goal of hiring 6,000 officers nationwide by Labor Day.
Most passengers caught armed report forgetting the guns were in the bags, TSA says. It offers a simple solution for that problem: Start packing for a trip with an entirely empty suitcase.
Federal regulations allow passengers to pack firearms in checked luggage — which must be deposited at airline check-in counters rather than taken through passenger checkpoints. The rules require passengers to declare firearms to airline agents, and pack weapons unloaded in hard-sided and locked containers.
The agency says it fines passengers up to $ 2,475 for bringing unloaded guns through checkpoints and up to $ 10,000 for a first offense of bringing a loaded gun. Officers also refer passengers for criminal prosecution, and penalties can be higher for repeat offenses.