ATLANTA - 'Tis the season to be 'packing'. Atlanta now has the dubious distinction having the most weapons seized at any airport in the country this holiday season.
A 9mm Glock handgun seized at Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson Airport Thursday morning. That makes 100 weapons seized by Atlanta TSA agents this year, the most at any airport in the country.
In fact across the nation, it's aiming to be a record year. TSA agents have seized more than 1500 guns, 85 percent have been loaded.
"I'm surprised there are not more," said Jack Lesher of Chuck's Firearms, "I personally know 5 people who've been stopped by the TSA. The last person I talked to said his total out of pocket expense was about 10 thousand."
Because it can cost a bundle in legal expenses. If you are caught with a weapon by security agents, you can be arrested, charged with a felony and fined. It can be a fight to get it reduced to a misdemeanor.
Lesher says most people just forget. However, it doesn't matter if you have a legal permit. Once you got into TSA checkpoint area with a weapon you can be arrested.
Here's a copy of the an email we received from Hartsfield Jackson's International Airport:
If a passenger arrives at the Airport with a gun before going through the TSA security checkpoint, he is free to return to his car with the weapon or declare the weapon and place it in his checked luggage.
However, once a person goes through the TSA screening process at the checkpoint, he is subject to be searched and detained until uniformed APD officers are notified. Once the officers arrive, they will seize the weapon(s) and the container it was in, and then escort the passenger to the police precinct. The weapon is then cleared, and the passenger is arrested and booked for Clayton County.
All passengers with guns at checkpoints are arrested (regardless of whether they possess a carry concealed permit) except active duty military personnel and active duty law enforcement (OCGA. 16-11-124).
A weapon can only be transported in an approved locking case and has to be checked. In addition to TSA rules, you need to know the airlines restrictions, and the local laws at your destination.