Guns found in carry-on luggage at SC airports hit ‘new annual high’

FILE - A sign warns travelers not to bring guns through the Transportation Security...
FILE - A sign warns travelers not to bring guns through the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida, on April 23, 2022.(AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 10:29 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at South Carolina airports discovered a new annual record of firearms in travelers’ carry-on luggage in 2022.

Charleston International, Greenville-Spartanburg International and Columbia Metropolitan Airports all posted record firearm detections last year, according to TSA. Each of the firearms were discovered by TSA officers during the routine screening of carry-on property at airport security checkpoints.

Here is a breakdown of TSA firearm discoveries for the past five years at South Carolina airports:

Airport (Airport code)20182019202020212022
Charleston International (CHS)918123032
Greenville-Spartanburg International (GSP)1523131721
Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE)81071115
Myrtle Beach International (MYR)91291310
Florence Regional (FLO)00011
Hilton Head Island (HXD)00000
South Carolina total:4163417279
National total:4,2394,4323,2575,9726,542

According to TSA, nationwide, a firearm was detected for every 116,394 passengers screened. In South Carolina, the rate was even higher, with one firearm discovered for every 82,819 passengers screened.

Among the factors TSA considers when determining the civil penalty amount includes whether the firearm was loaded and whether there was accessible ammunition.

The civil penalty can go up to a maximum of $15,000 per violation. Even if a traveler has a concealed weapons permit, firearms are not permitted in carry-on luggage.

TSA said people who violate rules regarding traveling with firearms will also have Trusted Traveler status and TSA PreCheck® expedited screening benefits revoked for a period of time. The duration of the disqualification will depend upon the seriousness of the offense and if there is a repeated history of violations.

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.

MORE NEWS: Cold case unit identifies Greenville County woman’s killer