Amid the surge in air travel during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Transportation Security Administration issued a reminder to travelers in Florida to either pack their gun in a checked bag or leave it at home.
In Tuesday’s statement, TSA Spokeswoman Sari Koshetz explained that there’s been a surge in people trying to bring guns through security at Florida’s seven major airports. She called the 730 attempts so far this year “a dangerous trend.”
“This troubling trend is dangerous and threatens the safety of passengers and of our officers who work tirelessly across every holiday to keep record numbers of passengers safe,” Koshetz said.
In 2023, TSA officers intercepted:
- 144 guns at Orlando International
- 130 guns at Tampa International
- 123 at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International
- 66 at Miami International
- 65 at Jacksonville International
- 36 at Southwest Florida International in Fort Myers
- and 33 at Palm Beach International
In Florida, which has earned the nickname “The Gunshine State” for rapidly loosening its gun laws over the past decade or so, you don’t need a permit to carry a concealed firearm.
Last month, the TSA said it was on track to break its record for the most guns intercepted in a single year. The agency reported collecting 5,072 firearms in the year’s first three quarters.
On the TSA’s website, the agency said it requires passengers who travel with a firearm to pack it in a checked bag. It also requires the firearm to be unloaded and transported inside a hard-sided, locked case.
According to the TSA, bringing a firearm to a TSA checkpoint could result in a $15,000 fine and the loss of TSA PreCheck status for up to five years.