SEATAC, Wash. — Eleven firearms have been discovered in carry-on luggage during routine screenings at security checkpoints in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport this month.
At this point last year, a total of seven firearms had been discovered.
The latest occurred around 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday when an officer with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spotted an image of a firearm during an X-ray screening. The passenger, bound to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, was escorted out by law enforcement, according to TSA.
“There is no acceptable excuse a traveler can offer for bringing a firearm to the security checkpoint. Last week, we highlighted the record number of firearm discoveries in carry-on luggage at [Sea-Tac]. Since that announcement, TSA officers detected a firearm at the security checkpoint on Sunday and again today,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Washington Gregory Hawko. “As a community, we are asking firearm owners to pause and commit to doing better when traveling with a gun. This is for the safety of TSA employees, the airport community and other travelers.”
In 2022, TSA officers found a total 113 firearms in carry-on luggage.
The recommended civil penalty for bringing a firearm to a security checkpoint at an airport is $2,050 and can cost violators as much as $14,950 - the statutory maximum penalty. TSA evaluates each incident separately.
Those who violate firearm rules at airports can have their Trusted Traveler status and TSA PreCheck screen benefits revoked for a period of time - depending on the offense.
According to TSA, firearms can be transported on a commercial aircraft if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and checked. Ammunition, firearm frames, receivers and magazines must also be checked. Passengers should go to the airline ticket counter to declare a firearm.