Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has seized more guns than any other airport in the nation at security checkpoints this year.
Federal authorities say that 293 firearms have been discovered, setting a national record among airports before the year even ends, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I know you can’t imagine this, but the passenger will say, ‘I forgot it was in the bag,’” said Mary Leftridge Byrd, the Transportation Security Administration’s Atlanta federal security director.
In 2017, TSA seized 245 guns at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, making it the second year in the row that they’ve held the number one spot in the nation for guns uncovered at checkpoints.
Of the 293 discovered this year, 248 were found in carry-on bags and another 45 were undeclared or improperly packed in checked luggage. Transportation Security Administration says that 80-90 percent of the guns are loaded on average.
“If you are caught with a weapon in your bag, even a first-time offender will pay a fine. You will be issued a citation. You’ll have to appear in court to resolve the citation. You’ll lose your gun. You won’t make your flight,” said Jim Hurley, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s assistant special agent in charge in Atlanta.
Some people can face criminal charges and fines, while repeat offenders could be charged with a federal misdemeanor which could include jail time or a fine up to $100,000. Even a civil TSA penalty could cost up to $13,333.
With penalties like these, forgetting that you’ve packed a gun in a carry-on doesn’t seem worth it.
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