Seven firearms were discovered in seven separate travelers' carry-on luggage at the Salt Lake City International Airport within the past seven days.
The seventh firearm was discovered Wednesday by a TSA officer at 7:40 a.m.
According to a press release, the X-ray screen showed a loaded 9 mm Smith and Wesson pistol inside a man's carry-on bag. He ticketed for travel to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. An additional magazine and 15 rounds of ammunition were also discovered.
The other six firearms were discovered inside other travelers' carry-on luggage:
- Oct. 3: A 9 mm Smith and Wesson M&P Shield gun and eight rounds of ammunition were discovered inside man's carry-on bag at 7:15 p.m. He was traveling to Oakland International Airport.
- Oct. 4: A loaded .380 caliber Kel-Tec firearm and five rounds of ammunition were discovered inside a bag belonging to a male passenger headed to San Diego International Airport.
- Oct. 5: A 9 mm FN Herstal FNS-9 gun and 17 rounds of ammunition were discovered in a bag owned by man traveling to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
- Oct. 6: A woman had a .22 caliber North American Arms firearm and five rounds of ammunition inside her luggage. She was traveling to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
- Oct. 7: A loaded .380 caliber Ruger LCP firearm and six rounds of ammunition were found in a woman's carry-on bag.
- Oct. 8: TSA officers found a .22 caliber Ruger Sturm firearm in a man's luggage. He was traveling to John F. Kennedy International Airport. Ninety-seven rounds of ammunition were also found in the bag.
Airport security does not believe these individuals posed a threat to the public, a press release stated.
All of the guns were discovered during routine screenings of carry-on property at the TSA security checkpoint.
TSA officers alerted the airport police, who took custody of each gun and interviewed the travelers.
“This string of firearm discoveries should serve as a reminder to all travelers - especially gun owners - to double-check their belongings before they come to the airport to catch a flight to ensure there is nothing dangerous or prohibited in their carry-on luggage,” TSA Federal Security Director for Utah Mark Lewis stated in a press release.
There is no excuse for bringing a firearm to the security checkpoint when there is an established and accepted procedure for packing a firearm for travel in checked luggage.
The recommended civil penalty has a minimum $2,050 fine and can go up to $10,250 per violation. The people will also have their TSA pre-check and trusted traveler statuses removed fora period of time.
A total of 65 firearms have been discovered at the Salt Lake City International Aiport in 2019, according to a press release.
In 2018, 73 guns were found in carry-on luggage.