3 SWFL airports set records for passengers with guns


Three airports in Southwest Florida — Punta Gorda, Fort Myers and Sarasota-Bradenton — reported a document variety of guns confiscated from passengers in 2022.

The year-to-date quantity on Dec. 19 of 793 guns dropped at the Transportation Security Administration’s checkpoints at Florida airports is already 19% increased than in any earlier yr and contains records set at 14 particular person airports.

In Southwest Florida, TSA statistics present 46 guns at Southwest Florida International (RSW), 18 at Sarasota Bradenton International (SRQ) and 10 at Punta Gorda Airport (PGD), had been confiscated. All these had been records for every airport. “Last yr we stopped 39 guns (at RSW), which was at the moment the best quantity ever. and the vacation journey season is just not over but, clearly,” stated Sari Koshetz, a TSA regional media official.

Across the remainder of the state, the biggest variety of guns TSA officers have needed to intercept had been: 151 guns at Orlando International Airport (MCO), 127 guns at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), 120 guns at Tampa International (TPA), 91 guns at Miami International (MIA), 67 guns at Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), 29 at Palm Beach International (PBI), and 28 at Pensacola International (PNS).



The 14 airports which have set an area document are MCO, TPA, MIA, JAX, RSW, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) with 25, St. Pete-Clearwater International (PIE) with 18, Tallahassee International (TLH) with 15, Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) with 11, Daytona Beach International (DAB) with eight, Melbourne Orlando International (MLB) with six, and Key West International (EYW) with 5.

Nearly each one among these guns was loaded and most had ammunition chambered.

“An unintended discharge might end in tragedy,” stated Ms. Koshetz. “Every passenger bears the accountability of understanding precisely the place their gun is earlier than getting into the federal safety checkpoint and that should not be on their particular person or of their carry-on.”

Many of those passengers had been arrested or issued notices to seem in court docket.

Passengers face a civil penalty from the TSA that may attain greater than $14,000 and that’s imposed no matter whether or not the person is arrested by TSA’s regulation enforcement companions. If the traveler is within the TSA PreCheck program, these privileges will probably be misplaced for a time period, probably completely.

“If you’re going to journey with your gun it have to be in your checked bag, however make sure you recognize precisely what the gun legal guidelines are on either side of your journey or it’s possible you’ll be heading to jail as an alternative of to your loved ones’s vacation gathering,” Ms. Koshetz added. “Guns is probably not authorized to move even in checked baggage in some jurisdictions.”

Other airports within the state the place guns had been intercepted within the checkpoints are Orlando Sanford International (SFB) with seven guns, and Northwest Florida Beaches International (ECP) with 14 guns.

Every yr FLL, TPA and MCO are sometimes within the high 10 or 11 airports throughout the nation for passengers violating federal regulation by bringing guns to the TSA checkpoints.

When passengers board planes, firearms have to be in checked baggage. All firearms have to be correctly packed and declared to the airline at check-in, which implies unloaded and in a locked, hard-sided case. Contact your airline for further steering. And it’s your accountability to know what the gun legal guidelines are on each side of your journey. ¦


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