Record number of weapons found by TSA in 2021 at Mobile airport; more than double the old record | Mobile County Alabama News
MOBILE, Ala (WALA) – More passengers than ever before show up armed at TSA checkpoints.
New footage from the TSA at Mobile Regional Airport shows some of the dangers they found lurking in carry-on luggage.
Last year, the TSA found a record 17 firearms, more than double the old record of 8.
“I wasn’t surprised,” said Gail Linkins, Alabama director of federal security for the TSA. “More and more people are bringing weapons to checkpoints all over the country.”
2021 has been a banner year for gun seizures at airports across our country.
The TSA discovers nearly 6,000 firearms in carry-on luggage… about 15 cents more than the last record set in 2019. The news comes as travel rebounds… approaching pre-pandemic levels.
Gail Linkins is the woman in charge of aviation security at all Alabama airports. She has worked for the TSA since its inception 20 years ago.
“To always find a firearm at the checkpoint or in undeclared luggage is concerning,” she said. “What is very concerning is that most guns are loaded and often the gun has a bullet in the chamber.”
Not only did Mobile Regional break a record, but Pensacola International did too. TSA agents at the airport in northwest Florida confiscated 36 firearms in 2021. That’s a 20% increase from the old record.
“What’s the first response you get when you find a gun in a bag,” the reporter asked.
Linkins replied, “I really didn’t know it was in the bag.”
For people who fly, the news about record gun seizures is concerning, including for those who own guns.
“I was taught to use them and respect them and use them for security and things like that, but I know you don’t bring them here, a courthouse or a military base,” Sandra said. Ingram.
Nationwide, the TSA finds an average of about 16 firearms per day. They believe the reason they are finding more guns is because more people are buying and owning them.
“I hope people start taking responsibility, personal responsibility to look inside their bags before deciding to travel,” Linkins said. “It’s in their interest not only for safety, but also not to incur a huge fine.”
The TSA says the fine can be over $13,000.
There are legal ways to fly with a gun as checked baggage. It must be unloaded, in a locked rigid case and declared to the airline.
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