TSA offers advice as gun numbers rise at US airports - KCTV5

TSA offers advice as gun numbers rise at US airports

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In 2016, more than 3,300 firearms were discovered. That number is up nearly 20 percent from 2015. (AP) In 2016, more than 3,300 firearms were discovered. That number is up nearly 20 percent from 2015. (AP)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Changes are on the way for gun owners looking to legally take a weapon on board an airplane.

According to the Transportation Security Agency, the number of firearms found at airport security checkpoints is on the rise throughout the United States. 

In 2016, more than 3,300 firearms were discovered. That number is up nearly 20 percent from 2015.

To avoid hefty fines and citations, the TSA is offering a list of steps for passengers to follow.

TSA spokesman Mark Howell says first and foremost, the firearm must be unloaded and then placed in a padded gun case.

“Remove any magazines in the firearm and make sure no rounds are in the chamber as well,” Howell said. “You need to get a hard-sided case.”

Gun cases come in all shapes and sizes and must be lockable, but surprisingly not with a TSA approved lock.

“You are not supposed to use TSA recognized locks,” Howell said. “You have to be the only one to open the lock.”

Gun owners must declare the box to the airline ticket counter, in person, not through the ticket kiosk. The ticket counter will then provide a special form for the owner to fill out.

“You'll fill it out with contact information and put it in the box with the unloaded firearm,” Howell said.

After filling out the form, firearms can go inside checked luggage or be checked on its own. Either way, the luggage check is the last point gun owners can see their firearm until they reach their destination.

The TSA reminds travelers that firearms are never allowed inside a carry-on bag or inside a security checkpoint. If one of these situations is found, local authorities will be called.

TSA officials also want to remind gun owners to do some homework on the laws at their destination, what is legal in some states may not hold true in another state or country.

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