TSA Finding More Firearms at Airport Checkpoints

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Transportation Security Administration is out with new numbers showing agents are finding more firearms at checkpoints.

The TSA says it’s seen a 28 percent increase from 2015.

Airports here in the South topped the list with Atlanta at number one with 198 firearms confiscated. 80 were taken in Nashville.

Shooter’s Depot of Chattanooga Co-owner John Martin says he’s not surprised by the statistics.

“If you really think that you’re going to try to sneak a gun, I mean, good luck. It’s going to be tough,” Martin said.

The TSA says Chattanooga’s airport confiscated 16 guns last year. It was 10 the year before.

Martin says more people are buying guns due to a rise in crime, and many of them aren’t properly trained.

“You’ve got a large amount of people now that are arming themselves, and they forget they’ve got their firearms,” he said. “They didn’t grow up in a gun culture. They’re not that familiar with firearms. They just forgot they had it in their purse. It don’t think it’s deliberate. It think it’s just accidental.”

Martin believes it will continue to be an issue.

“I don’t see how it can’t. Gun sales are going to continue to rise because the crime rate will continue to rise. More and more people, especially in Tennessee, because we are a gun friendly state.”

Martin tells News 12 you can’t bring your guns in just any case to the airport. It needs to have two locks on it.

“It must be rigid, durable, hard, plastic, and it must be lockable. Plastic is not a requisite. It can be metallic, aluminum, some light metal, but it must be so rigid that it cannot be crushed nor can it be opened with a pocket knife.”

Martin says the guns must also be unloaded, and must be counted.

“You have to pick it up at a dedicated counter on the point of your arrival. They recount the guns and recertify or qualify the guns are unloaded, and then and only then are you able to receive your guns.”

It’s also advised to go to the airport extra early if checking a firearm.

It may seem like common sense, but Martin says if you buy a gun, it’s good to learn how to use it, and take a gun course.


Categories: Local News

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