Two handguns were detected at checkpoints at the Greater Rochester International Airport in 2019, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
Five handguns were detected at Syracuse Hancock International Airport in Syracuse – the most of the upstate airports that included Buffalo Niagara (3), Albany (1), Ithaca Tompkins (1) and Elmira Corning (1). In all, 13 handguns were seized at the six airports, the fewest since 10 were seized in each of 2015 and 2016.
While the number of handguns seized by TSA was down in upstate New York last year, the agency reported seizing more guns nationwide than in any point in its 18-year history.
TSA officers caught 4,432 firearms in carry-on bags or on a passenger. TSA detected an average of 12.1 firearms per day, an increase of 5% over the total of 4,239 detected in 2018.
Of the guns detected at checkpoints, 87% were loaded.
Five airports where guns were detected most often in 2019 were:
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, 323;
- Dallas/Fort Worth International, 217;
- Denver International, 140;
- George Bush Houston Intercontinental, 138; and
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International, 132.
Since 2013, TSA has detected 16 guns at Greater Rochester International Airport. It has detected 17 at Hancock. The most TSA detected in one year was 7 at Buffalo Niagara in 2018.
Passengers who have a firearm at a checkpoint are subject to criminal charges, and TSA can levy a fine of up to $13,000.
Passengers with concealed carry permits cannot bring the gun onto a plane. However, they can put the gun in checked baggage if it is unloaded, locked in a hard-sided case and packed separately from ammunition. The ammunition must be in its original box and can be next to the firearm in the locked case. The case with the firearm must be brought to the check-in counter and the passenger has to tell the clerk there is a weapon.
For more on how to travel legally with a firearm, go to www.tsa.gov/travel/transporting-firearms-and-ammunition.
Laws for the possession of firearms vary by state, and travelers need to know the regulations for each place they will visit. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition, so passengers need to contact the airline before going to the airport.