AUSTIN (KXAN) — Three loaded firearms were found in carry-on bags at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport Tuesday, according to a press release from the Transport Security Administration.
The TSA says the first firearm was discovered during an x-ray screening at Checkpoint 2. The second and third were found in a single passenger’s carry-on bag as it went through security at Checkpoint 1. Austin police were called to the airport to take possession of the weapons and interview the passengers.
According to Mike Scott, the Federal Security Director at the Austin airport, these three weapons brings the total number of firearms confiscated at the airport in 2019 to 49.
“It is unfortunate that passengers continue to bring firearms to checkpoints, said Scott. “We urge all travelers to ensure they know what is in their carry-on bags and to only travel with firearms in checked bags, after declaring them to the airline and storing them, unloaded, in a locked, hard-sided case.”
Anyone caught with a firearm at a security checkpoint will be referred to the Austin police and will receive a civic penalty from the TSA. According to the press release these penalties can cost as much as $13,333. A big factor when determining the amount of the civic penalty is whether or not the firearm is loaded.
Any passenger with trusted Traveler status or TSA Pre✓® will have the expedited travel benefits revoked for a period of time if caught breaking the rules regarding traveling with a firearm. In addition to a gun, firearm parts, ammunition and realistic replicas are also not allowed in a carry-on.
In 2018, the TSA found a record 4,239 firearms at airports across the country, which comes to an average of 11.6 a day.