The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is cracking down on people carrying firearms through security checkpoints ahead of the Christmas rush.
The agency has increased the maximum civil penalty for firearms violations by more than $1,000 to $14,950.
The increase comes as the TSA sees a record number of firearms coming through security checkpoints. The agency says it has stopped 6,301 firearms, most of them loaded, this year.
The TSA anticipates it will stop 6,600 firearms in carry-on bags from entering secure areas of airports by the end of the year. If that prediction becomes a reality, that would be a nearly 10% from 2021, which the agency says was a record year.
“Firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags at the checkpoint and onboard aircraft," said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. "When a passenger brings a firearm to the checkpoint, this consumes significant security resources and poses a potential threat to transportation security, in addition to being very costly for the passenger.”
Unloaded firearms can be packed away in checked luggage. They must be in a locked hard-sided container and declared to the airline at check-in.