Image: Stock photo
SALT LAKE CITY — Two more people were arrested in consecutive days at the Salt Lake City International Airport after TSA security agents said they found loaded firearms in the passengers' carry-on luggage.
The arrests make a total of seven at the airport since Jan. 1.
TSA officials say that's an alarming number considering that 20 guns were seized at the Salt Lake airport — and 24 at all Utah airports — during all of 2012.
In the latest incidents, Vinson Branon Miner, 37, of South Jordan, was arrested Sunday after a Kel-Tec .32-caliber gun was discovered in his bag. And Kenneth Edward May, 64, of Salina, was arrested Monday after security found a loaded Ruger LCP .280-caliber gun. Both were arrested for investigation of misdemeanor charges of bringing a gun to the airport.
By the numbers:
- 20: number of guns seized at S.L. Int'l in 2012
- 24: number of guns seized at all Utah airports in 2012
- 30: number of guns found at all checkpoints nationwide last week
- 25: number of those weapons that were loaded
Nationwide, the TSA reported finding 30 guns at checkpoints last week, with 25 of those weapons loaded and 13 of those with rounds in the chamber.
In the majority of cases, TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said passengers are simply in a rush to get to the airport and forget that they have a firearm in their carry-on luggage. However, she said they still face potential state and federal charges when they're caught. There are ways, she said, to transport unloaded firearms in checked luggage legally.
If a person is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony charge of having a firearm at the airport, they face the potential of having their concealed weapons permit suspended for up to five years in addition to any penalties the court levies, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety. If a gun owner is able to have the charge reduced to an infraction before being found guilty, DPS does not take action regarding their weapons permit.
Video contribution: Andrew Wittenberg