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Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents stopped 61 guns brought by passengers entering TSA security checkpoints at Alabama airports so far in 2022. 

Guns are not permitted in carry-on bags. According to the TSA, they may only travel in checked baggage and must be declared to the airline at check-in.

According to a TSA press release, TSA officers have stopped 61 guns at checkpoints in Alabama airports, and many intended for checked luggage – which is the only way they can travel - have been packed in a dangerous manner. The interceptions included 40 guns at the checkpoints in Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM); 16 at Huntsville International Airport (HSV); three at Mobile Regional Airport (MOB) and one at each Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) and Dothan Regional Airport (DHN). 

TSA officers stopped each of them. Most of these guns were loaded, and many had ammunition chambered, posing the risk of an accidental discharge, according to TSA.

“Each gun presents a danger. Any incident could have tragic results,” said TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz in a statement. “This ominous trend continues across the country. Every passenger should know exactly where their gun is before they enter the airport and make sure that it is not in a backpack, purse, suitcase or any carry-on that you plan to bring into the security checkpoint. And if you are traveling with your gun in checked luggage, it must be unloaded, in a locked, hard-sided case and declared to the airline at check-in.”

Passengers face a civil penalty from the TSA that can reach as much as $13,910 that is imposed for bringing a gun into a federal checkpoint or for failing to declare or properly package a gun in checked luggage. If the traveler is in the TSA PreCheck program, those privileges will be lost for a period of time, possibly permanently. 

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