GREEN BAY, Wis.(WFRV)- 2021 was a record year for dangerous items found at TSA checkpoints at airports across the country. “We released our 2021 final year-end numbers and they were our highest numbers of all time,” said Jessica Mayle, TSA Public Affairs Specialist.
Included in the report, statistics for Austin Straubel International Airport and Appleton International. Both saw single digits for firearm incidents. ” For Green Bay, I think we had one caught and Appleton there were two,” said Mayle.
Even if you are a police officer, or a private citizen who has a conceal carry permit, you cannot board a flight with a handgun, loaded or unloaded. “We have a lot of paperwork that needs to be filled out in order for that to be allowed. And really, it is only allowed if a police officer is transporting a prisoner,” said Mayle.
TSA says legally transport a firearm, you must have it unloaded, in a locked box, and secured in your checked luggage. You should let the airline know what you have in your bag to allow for a smooth check-in. “If you have a weapon and it’s detected at a checkpoint, it’s first going to take you a lot more time. Secondly, there might be local law enforcement action, and third, we will follow up with a civil penalty action,” said TSA Administration.
Sept. 2021 a pocket knife was concealed in a tube and taped to the inside lining of a carry-on bag at Appleton International, which is against the law. Also that month, a passenger tried to board a flight with fireworks, which are considered explosives. “There was also a sword that was found in a walking cane. I understand people might want to have protection with them, but you can’t bring those items on,” said Mayle.
The federal fines connected to these incidents could be around $14,000. Guidelines from the TSA can be found here.