‘Wakeup call:’ Number of guns found in carry-on bags at Myrtle Beach airport increases


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The number of guns found in carry-on luggage at the Myrtle Beach Airport has increased each year for the past three years.

According to the TSA, South Carolina airports discovered 63 firearms in travelers’ carry-on luggage in 2019, a 53% increase since 2018. Twelve of those guns were found at the Myrtle Beach Airport, up from nine the year before and 7 the year before that.

“The increase in the number of firearm discoveries should serve as a wakeup call to travelers everywhere,” said TSA Federal Security Director for South Carolina David McMahon. “There is an established protocol for flying with a firearm and it never includes bringing it to the security checkpoint.”

McMahon warns all travelers to double-check their belongings before coming to the airport to catch a flight and make sure there is nothing dangerous included.

The recommended civil penalty for a firearm starts at $2,050 and can go up to a maximum of $10,250 per violation. Even if a traveler has a concealed weapons permit, firearms are not permitted in carry-on luggage.

Firearms can be transported on a commercial aircraft only if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and placed in checked baggage. Ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames, receivers, clips and magazines are also prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be checked. Any type of replica firearm is prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be transported in checked luggage.

Additional traveler information specifically related to the commercial air transport of firearms and ammunition can be found at http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-andammunition. More information on TSA’s civil penalties for prohibited items can be found at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/civil-enforcement.

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