In the aftermath of the September 11th attack, the Transportation Security Administration has spent a lot of time and money educating travelers about what they can - and cannot - bring on an airplane, but a new report shows that flyers in San Antonio are not getting the message, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
In the last five days, five firearms have been discovered at screening checkpoints. Four of them have been locked and loaded. TSA Spokeswoman Carrie Harmon tells 1200 WOAI news, each case is different, but there were no links to terrorism.
"Sometimes people think that if they have a permit to carry, that allows them to bring a firearm to a security checkpoint and that is not the case," she says.
San Antonio International is far from the only airport having gun troubles. Between August 7th and August 13th, a total of 12 guns were found in Texas's large airports. Half were loaded and had a round chambered.
"The bottom line is you cannot bring a firearm to the checkpoint. You were not able to it before 9/11 and you certainly have not been able to do it since," Harmon says.
Nationwide, the TSA found 3,391 firearms at airport security checkpoints in 2016. That's a 28% increase over 2015. So far this calendar year, agents in San Antonio have discovered 38 firearms at checkpoints. Last year, agents here intercepted 57.
In each case, TSA alerted the San Antonio Airport Police, and officers took possession of the weapons and interviewed the passengers before they were allowed to continue or rebook.
Jess Presas, who heads up TSA Federal Security at San Antonio International, says there is a way to bring your gun with you, if you're hopping on a plane.
“Firearms can only be transported in a checked bag that is declared to the airline at the ticket counter and properly packed in a locked, hard-sided container.”