DENVER (CBS4) – In the first two weeks of July, TSA officers found 113 firearms inside carry-on luggage at airports across the country.
As part of the agency’s routine reports on the number of weapons it discovers, the TSA said 93 of those firearms were loaded and 38 of them had a round chambered.
Carrie Harmon, spokesperson for the TSA in Denver, shared statistics that show Denver International Airport is consistently among the top 10 airports for gun catches.
Last year, officers at DIA found a total of 90 firearms inside luggage at security checkpoints. This year, the airport is on track to surpass last year’s numbers, with 46 firearms already discovered — more than the same time period in 2015.
More often than not, the TSA says the firearms it finds are loaded. Firearms are not permitted in carry-on luggage, though they can be transported in checked luggage if the passenger declares to their airline their intent to travel with a firearm prior to their flight.
Harmon said the TSA can level steep civil penalties against people who pack firearms in their carry-on luggage, including fines of up to $11,000. That’s in addition to whatever criminal charges law enforcement may pursue.
On average, she says people who are caught with loaded firearms are fined $3,000, while those with unloaded firearms receive an average fine of $1,500.