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TSA finding three times as many guns in carry-on luggage as before pandemic

TSA finding three times as many guns in carry-on luggage as before pandemic
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Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers last month found firearms in carry-on bags at a rate three times higher than July of last year, despite a significantly lower volume of passengers amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

TSA officers detected 15.3 guns per million travelers last month, compared to 5.1 per million people screened during July 2019, the agency said Monday

The TSA warned that the figure is “particularly alarming” since officers screened about 75 percent fewer passengers last month than the previous year. 

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Moreover, TSA Administrator David Pekoske said that 80 percent of the firearms coming into checkpoints are loaded. 

“Travelers must understand that firearms are prohibited items at airports and in the passenger cabins of aircraft. As hard as we are working to mitigate other risks at this time, no one should be introducing new ones,” Pekoske said in a statement. 

“Travelers need to know that if they bring a gun to the security checkpoint, regardless of whether it is in a handbag, knapsack, roller-bag or strapped to their belt, it will be an inconvenient and expensive mistake on their part,” he added. 

It is legal to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at check-in with the airline. The firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked and packed separately from ammunition, according to TSA.