Why do San Antonians Keep Taking Their Guns to the Airport?

Today is the start of the busiest week of the year at San Antonio's airport, and if you're one of the many who will be going through security, the TSA has a warning:  check your bag before you leave home.

In the last decade, there has been a slow increase in the number of airline travelers who are caught at the airport security checkpoint with a gun in their bag.

"So far this year, we've had 62 weapons at the airport here.  We've already surpassed the 2017 numbers in San Antonio," Donald Miano, Deputy Assistant Federal Security Director, says.

That's an increase from 55 weapons found at San Antonio's airport in all of 2017.  

Nationwide, this has been a record breaking year for guns in luggage.  Screeners spotted more than 4,000 firearms in carry-on bags so far this year.  And while San Antonio's numbers are shocking, nearly 300 guns were found at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

"The vast majority of the weapons are loaded with a round in the chamber, which makes it very scary for us here at the airport."

Miano says the most typical excuse they hear is that the weapon's owner forgot.  That could be an expensive mistake.  A typical first offense is a $3,900 fine, but that could range up to $11,000.

Flyers are allowed to have a gun in their checked bag, but never in a carry-on.  If one is caught, the owner is given the option to put it in their car, or give it to someone else to take home.  

The TSA is working with airports to increase signage to remind people before they get to the checkpoint.

 "It's amazing. We've been doing this for 16 years. Every year we're setting records."

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