Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has seen 108 passengers attempting to carry firearms – mostly loaded, and many with chambered rounds – through security checkpoints in 2018.
That includes 30 guns seized during the month of May alone, USA Today reported June 7, 2018.
Including the weapons seized at the US’s busiest airport, the TSA (US Transportation Security Administration) has confiscated more than 1,700 guns at airports across US so far in 2018. In 2017, the agency seized a record 3,391 weapons at airports in the US.
“People are so used to having guns with them all the time,” said TSA spokesperson Mark Howell, who added that there is “hardly ever an intent to do it on purpose.”
Mistake or not, the cost for entering a security checkpoint is high: first-time offenders typically face a fine of US$3,900, and fines can go as high as US$13,000. The government also takes possession of all seized weapons, which are often resold at auction.
Georgia has particularly liberal laws regarding concealed carry of weapons.
In addition to guns found in carry-on luggage, TSA also may seize weapons packed in checked luggage if they have not been declared and enclosed in a hard case separate from ammunition.