Orlando International tops list of Florida airports with most gun confiscations, TSA says

Bringing a gun to a TSA checkpoint is violation of federal law, TSA says

Florida airports continue to rank in the nation’s top 10 every year for where passengers are most often stopped at checkpoints with a gun, and Orlando International Airport leads the state.

ORLANDO, Fla. – In what the Transportation Security Administration called a “dangerous trend,” Florida airports continue to rank in the nation’s top 10 every year for where passengers are most often stopped at checkpoints with a gun, and Orlando International Airport leads the state.

According to a news release issued Wednesday, 195 guns have been found year-to-date at Florida airports. 40 were recovered at OIA, 36 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, 26 at Tampa International Airport, 19 at Miami International Airport and 17 at Jacksonville International Airport, the TSA said. Additionally, the TSA said another two guns — loaded and chambered — were stopped at OIA on Friday.

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Last Friday, April 8, the TSA said a man was stopped at checkpoint in OIA carrying a Taurus 9mm loaded with 12 rounds before being arrested by Orlando police. This, as the TSA said, was just one of dozens of examples of checkpoint gun seizures just in Orlando over the last year, not to mention the rest of Florida.

Due to it being a violation of federal law, passengers will face a civil penalty after being stopped at a security checkpoint with a gun on them, one that the TSA said can cost more than $13,900 to deal with and will be imposed regardless of what agency makes the arrest. Should said travelers be in the TSA PreCheck program, their privileges associated with that membership will then also be lost, in some cases permanently.

The TSA wrote up a list of tips to get yourself through one of its checkpoints as quickly as possible, though item one has already more-or-less been spelled out:

  1. No guns in carry-ons. Airline passengers can fly with firearms only in checked baggage. All firearms must be properly packed and declared at check-in, which means unloaded and in a locked, hard-sided case. Contact your airline for additional guidance. And it is your responsibility to know what the gun laws are on both sides of your trip because guns may not be legal to transport even in checked baggage in some jurisdictions.
  2. Wear a face mask. You must. The federal face mask mandate for travelers remains in place for any location inside an airport or on a plane. Those who refuse to wear a mask face steep fines from the TSA.
  3. Leave all prohibited items at home. To reduce the likelihood of a bag search at the checkpoint, search your own bag before leaving home. Unsure if it’s allowed: use the “What Can I Bring?” page on TSA.gov.
  4. Prepare for the security checkpoint. Have a valid ID card readily available. Follow the liquids rule of 3.4 ounces or less, with the exception of hand sanitizer, which has a temporary 12-ounce limit in carry-on baggage. Empty your pockets into your carry-on rather than into a bin.
  5. Help is available. Get live assistance by tweeting your questions and comments to @AskTSA in English or Spanish or via Facebook Messenger. You can also call the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673.
  6. Enroll now in TSA PreCheck. Travel with Ease by enrolling in TSA PreCheck and avoid removing shoes, belts, liquids, food, laptops and light jackets. Most new enrollees receive a known traveler number within five days, and membership lasts for five years.

About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.