MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents saw an increase in firearms discovered at Myrtle Beach International Airport in 2021, according to the administration.
In 2021, officers discovered 13 firearms while screening passengers’ carry-on luggage, according to a news release. That’s the most out of any of the previous four years at the airport, but on par with 2019.
South Carolina airports saw a total of 72 firearms discovered by agents, which is a new record for the state, according to TSA. The rate firearms were discovered at South Carolina airports was higher than the rate of firearms discovered nationally, according to the release.
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Across the country, one firearm was found for every 97,999 passengers screened, while in South Carolina, there was one firearm discovered for every 77,135 passengers screened.
Travelers caught with firearms at a TSA checkpoint could face criminal or civil action, TSA said. Passengers could also lose Trusted Traveler and TSA PreCheck revoked.
Firearms are not allowed in carry-on luggage, even with a concealed weapons permit. All firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-shell case and placed in checked luggage. The firearm must also be declared at the airline ticket counter along with ammo and other gun parts.
The top airports where firearms were caught at checkpoints were: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Dallas/Fort Worth International, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental, Phoenix Sky Harbor International, and Nashville International.
TSA screened more than 580 million passengers in 2021, according to the administration. At South Carolina’s six commercial airports, TSA screened 5.56 million passengers, up 114% from 2020.