TSA Warns Traveling Gun Owners Amid Rising Firearm Seizures
With more and more firearms turning up at airports across the U.S., including Chicago Midway International Airport, the Transportation Security Administration feels the need to remind air travelers of the proper protocol.
In addition to hefty fines, in some cases, improper possession carries the threat of felony prosecution.
Nonetheless, according to CBS Chicago, security officials have already confiscated seven guns at Chicago Midway just over four months into the year, including three loaded firearms this past month. Those numbers are shocking considering that just six firearms were recovered at the airport all of last year.
Nearby Chicago O'Hare International Airport has already seen eight confiscated guns pass through in 2015, slightly ahead of the pace it was on last year when 20 firearms were seized by airport officials.
"Probably the most common excuse is, 'I didn’t know it was there,'" said Kevin McCarthy of the TSA via CBS Chicago. "I think there's a personal responsibility for any gun owner, that they ought to be aware of the rules, where they can and can't take it."
Although it requires a bit of common sense and paperwork, traveling with a firearm clearly isn't rocket science.
Travelers can find and review the rules on the TSA's website and should remember to pack the unloaded gun in a hard, lockable case inside checked luggage. If traveling with ammunition, it must be packed away in a separate container from the gun.
Beyond that, the traveling gun owner must declare the weapon at the counter and fill out a form to confirm it's unloaded and therefore safe to fly.
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