Here’s where Augusta airport ranks in gun seizures
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta Regional Airport has been ranked third in the number of firearms seized in Georgia airports from 2022.
Transportation Security Administration officers at Georgia airports discovered a total of 482 firearms in travelers’ carry-on luggage, with Augusta Regional producing nine in 2022.
According to the report, in 2020, TSA found two firearms at Augusta Regional, and five in 2021. That’s increased by seven in two years.
Nationwide, a firearm was detected for every 116,394 passengers screened, according to the report.
In Georgia, the rate was more than double the national rate, with one firearm discovered for every 40,570 passengers screened.
In the report, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport leads with 448 seizures, followed by Savannah-Hilton Head International with 14 seizures.
Statewide in 2022, TSA screened approximately 27.74 million departing travelers at Georgia airports, a nearly 26 percent increase over the total screened in 2021, according to TSA.
Each of the firearms was discovered by TSA officers during the routine screening of carry-on property at airport security checkpoints.
When a TSA officer sees the image of a firearm on the X-ray screen, TSA immediately notifies the local airport law enforcement agency, and a law enforcement officer removes the firearm from the X-ray tunnel.
What happens to the firearm and the traveler is up to the discretion of the airport law enforcement agency, according to the TSA.
In addition to potential criminal citations, travelers face civil penalties for bringing firearms to the security checkpoint and TSA evaluates each firearm incident on a case-by-case basis.
The civil penalty can go up to a maximum of nearly $15,000 per violation. Even if a traveler has a concealed weapons permit, firearms are not permitted in carry-on luggage.
According to the TSA, firearms can be transported on a commercial aircraft only if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case, and placed in checked baggage. Any type of replica firearm is prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be transported in checked luggage.
At the airport during the check-in process, a passenger needs to go to the airline ticket counter to declare the firearm, ammunition, and any firearm parts.
TSA encourages flyers, before traveling, to check gun laws and regulations at their destination to ensure they comply with local and state laws.
TSA has additional traveler information specifically related to the transportation of firearms and ammunition. A full summary of TSA’s civil penalties for prohibited items is also available.
Copyright 2023 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.