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Guns Caught At TSA Checkpoints Reach 20-Year High

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Pittsburgh International Airport has put the hammer down on gun owners after a record number of loaded firearms were caught going through security.

Just last week, TSA announced if you're caught, the stakes would be higher including hefty fines and the loss of your concealed carry permit. But it doesn't seem as though everyone got the memo.

Authorities thought jacking up fines and threatening to take concealed carry permits away would do the trick, but just over the weekend here another traveler tried to get a loaded handgun undetected through security.

TSA officers spotted a loaded handgun inside the purse of a Washington County woman on Saturday. The gun was a .380 caliber loaded with 10 bullets, including one in the chamber. When her bag with the weapon in it was pulled aside by officers they say the woman laughed.

Allegheny County police were alerted and the gun was confiscated.

It isn't happening just in Pittsburgh. TSA officers say they found a record number of firearms at airport security checkpoints nationwide this year, setting a new 20-year record with three months still left in 2021.

As of the beginning of this month, TSA had stopped almost 5,000 passengers across the country from carrying firearms onto their flights. To put it into perspective, that's 500 more than in all of 2019.

Passengers are allowed to travel with firearms in checked baggage, but they must be unloaded and packed in a locked, hard-sided case and declared at the check-in counter.

Many of these folks have claimed they just forgot they had a gun in their bag. If you do forget, officers say it could cost you up to $13,000 and the loss of your concealed carry permit.

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