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TSA: Guns caught at Green Bay, Appleton airports' security checkpoints increased

TSA Checks
Posted at 3:37 PM, Jan 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-12 16:37:10-05

NORTHEAST WISCONSIN (NBC 26) — The Transportation Security Administration said Friday officers caught more handguns at Green Bay's and Appleton's airports in 2023 compared to 2022.

TSA said in a news release they stopped nine firearms at Appleton International Airport last year, up from two in 2022. Officers caught two guns at Austin Straubel International Airport in Ashwaubenon in 2023. There weren't any guns caught in 2022.

According to TSA:

  • Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport: 19 guns caught in 2023, 21 in 2022
  • Appleton International Airport: 9 guns caught in 2023, 2 in 2022
  • Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport: 2 guns caught in 2023, 0 in 2022
  • La Crosse Regional Airport: 2 guns caught in 2023, 1 in 2022
  • Dane County Regional Airport: 4 guns caught in 2023, 5 in 2022

TSA said officers caught a record 6,737 guns at airport security checkpoints nationwide in 2023, up from 6,542 in 2022. About 93 percent of the guns were loaded.
“Responsible gun owners know where their guns are and they know not to bring them to a checkpoint,” Wisconsin TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay said in the release. “We urge passengers to start with an empty bag so you know with certainty that there is nothing prohibited inside. Bringing a firearm to the checkpoint is a careless, dangerous mistake that passengers can easily avoid.”

TSA said they will fine passengers who bring a gun to a TSA checkpoint with a civil penalty of up to $15,000, revoke TSA PreCheck eligibility for up to five years, and may conduct enhanced screenings.

TSA said they do not confiscate guns. Local law enforcement may arrest or cite passengers who are caught with guns at security checkpoints.

TSA said there are ways to properly travel with unloaded firearms. More information can be found on the TSA's website.