MEM officials explain what you need to know if you’re traveling with a gun

MEM officials explain what you need to know if you’re traveling with a gun

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - More people are traveling and now more than ever more guns are being confiscated by the Transportation Security Administration.

Memphis International Airport has one of the highest confiscation rates per capita in the country.

TSA Agents see "Home Alone" moments every day. In the rush to get to your flight, passengers don't take a moment to make sure they have everything they need or have gotten rid of everything they can't have.

“The common thing we hear is ‘I forgot’ or ‘I didn’t know it was there,’” said Kevin McCarthy, MEM TSA Assistant Federal Security Director about confiscating guns.

The TSA reports in 2018, agents across the country found more than 4,200 guns at airport security checkpoints, an all-time high, and 47 of them were in Memphis, a 74 percent increase from 2017.

“We don’t want to infringe on anyone’s rights to travel with a firearm, we just want it checked in a checked bag,” said TSA Regional Spokesperson Mark Howell.

Howell said all firearms need to be checked in a hard case with padding. The case has to have a lock, and the gun needs to be unloaded.

All three guns confiscated in the Memphis airport last month were all loaded.

“About 86 percent of firearms we found at checkpoints were actually loaded,” McCarthy said.

You can check ammunition, but it too has to be contained in a hard, padded case with locks. You must declare your firearms at the airline’s ticket desk and make sure you have your license and permits and know the laws of your final destination.

If you’re found with a gun at a security checkpoint, TSA turns it over to local law enforcement.

Police will investigate and you could also face thousands of dollars in fines from the TSA.

“You’re probably going to miss that flight that day,” McCarthy said.

For more details, visit the TSA’s website at this link.

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