SALT LAKE CITY — Transportation Security Administration officials have a reminder for travelers headed to the Salt Lake City International Airport: Take your gun out of your carry-on bag before you get there.
Over the past seven days, TSA screeners have discovered a total of seven firearms in carry-on luggage, according to a prepared statement from the TSA. Spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said seven consecutive days is a new record for Salt Lake, and it’s concerning.
The incidents, according to the TSA, included:
- Wednesday, about 7:40 a.m., an X-ray machine detected a loaded 9mm handgun with an additional magazine and 15 rounds of ammunition in the bag of a male passenger headed to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
- Tuesday, 7:55 a.m., an unloaded .22 caliber handgun was found in the bag of a man traveling to John F. Kennedy International Airport. There were also 97 rounds of .22 ammunition in the man’s bag.
- Monday, 7:50 a.m., a .380 caliber Ruger with six rounds of ammunition was found in the bag of a woman headed to the San Diego International Airport.
- Sunday, a woman headed to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was found with a loaded .22 caliber gun and five-rounds of ammunition in her carry-on luggage. Saturday, 5:15 a.m., a loaded 9mm handgun with 17 rounds of ammunition was found in a carry-on bag of a man traveling to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
- Friday, 2:30 p.m., a loaded .380 firearm with five rounds of ammunition was found in the bag of a man traveling to the San Diego International Airport. Oct. 3, 7:15 p.m., a 9mm handgun was found in the luggage of a man traveling to Oakland International Airport.
“In every instance, these firearms were discovered by TSA officers during the routine screening of carry-on property at the TSA security checkpoint. Once the image of the firearm appeared on the X-ray screen, TSA notified the Salt Lake City Police Airport Bureau,” according to the TSA statement.
“This string of firearm discoveries should serve as a reminder to all travelers — especially gun owners — to double-check their belongings before they come to the airport to catch a flight to ensure there is nothing dangerous or prohibited in their carry-on luggage,” TSA Federal Security Director for Utah Mark Lewis said in a prepared statement. “There is no excuse for bringing a firearm to the security checkpoint when there is an established and accepted procedure for packing a firearm for travel in checked luggage.”
Fines for bringing a firearm to the airport can range from $2,050 to over $10,000, the TSA stated.
Firearms and ammunition can be transported by flying, according to the TSA, but never in carry-on bags. Information on the commercial air transportation of firearms can be found on the TSA’s website.
A total 65 firearms have been seized in 2019 at the Salt Lake City International Airport as of Wednesday. In 2018, 73 firearms were seized from carry-on luggage for the entire year, according to the TSA.