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TSA reports airport firearm statistics

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BOISE, Idaho (KIFI)-Idaho Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers report finding a total of 24 firearms in Idaho travelers’ carry-on luggage in 2020.  That is the same number as 2019, although there were far fewer airline travelers in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The firearms were discovered in only two Idaho airports.   Two were recovered in Idaho Falls and 22 at the Boise Airport.  Idaho Falls also had two incidents in 2019 while Boise recorded 19.

Three-year Airport Firearm Discoveries

“While the number of guns found at TSA checkpoints statewide has been relatively flat over the past three years, it is my goal to continue educating the public and reminding them of the risks associated with bringing firearms to the security checkpoint,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Idaho Andy Coose. “If you own a gun, you need to make sure you do not bring it to the airport in your carry-on luggage or you could find yourself talking to local law Idaho enforcement and paying a hefty fine or civil penalty. Don’t forget, if you need to take the gun with you on your trip, it must be declared to the airline, unloaded and in your checked bag.”

The firearm discovery rate in Idaho exceeded the national rate and, due to the lower number of travelers, the discovery rate more than doubled over 2019.

According to TSA, the agency screened approximately 1.3 million travelers in 2020 at Idaho’s six monitored airports.  That is about half the number screened in 2019.

TSA: National firearm recovery statistics

TSA evaluates each firearm incident on a case-by-case basis. In addition to potential criminal citations, travelers may also face civil penalties for bringing firearms to the security checkpoint.  Among the things considered, are whether a firearm was loaded or ammunition was accessible. Firearm civil penalties start at $2,050 and can go up to a maximum of $10,250 per violation. Even if a traveler has a concealed weapons permit, firearms are not permitted in carry-on luggage.

Firearms can be transported on a commercial aircraft, but only if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case, and placed in checked-in baggage.  Replica firearms are also prohibited in carry-on luggage.

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