Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Tampa Bay area airports detected 15 firearms this month in passenger carry-on bags.
This is nearly double the number of firearms detected in the previous two Octobers.
Twelve firearms were detected at TSA security checkpoints at the Tampa International Airport while one was discovered at the St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport and two at the
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.
Firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags but are permitted in checked baggage so long as they are unloaded and in a proper carrying case.
“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint,” Mark Howell, TSA Regional spokesperson, said. “Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.”
The TSA reminds passengers that having prohibited items in their luggage can be mistaken as an intentional attempt to bring the items onto an aircraft and that the items pose a danger to others.
Last year, the number of firearms detected at TSA checkpoints in Florida totaled 529. Through Oct. 28, 2019, more than 418 firearms have been detected.
Passengers who have firearms in their carry-on luggage face criminal charges and civil penalties.