ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In 2022, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was busy seizing more than 6,000 guns, an increase of about 600 from the previous year. Lisa Farbstein, the Spokesperson for the TSA, says that every licensed gun owner should know how to travel with a firearm.
“Make sure the gun is unloaded and packed in a hard-sided case. A locked case,” she said. “Check that case to the airline check-in counter, and then the airline rep will make sure that it is transported in the belly of the plane and the cargo of the checked bag, where nobody has access to it during the flight.”
The TSA reports that 88% of the guns found last year were loaded. Farbstein says that the vast majority of people say that they forgot that they brought their guns with them.”
“They seem to know where your wallets are, and their cell phones, and their keys…just having a little trouble remembering about their deadly weapon,” she said. “Responsible gun owners know where their guns are.”
Those who forget can end up paying around $15,000 in fines and jail time. Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says that every traveler must understand the laws in New York and at their destination.
“You’re leaving Florida, you’re legal, and you fly to New York, and you have a great time, and you think you’re doing the right thing,” he said. “Then you go flying back and declare your firearm, and unfortunately, you get arrested.”
And it’s not just guns. Travelers with marijuana should also be mindful of where they’re headed. Sheriff Apple says that the department is still waiting on more clarification.
“If the TSA located drugs and then they label it marijuana, we come up,” he said. “And if it’s marijuana, we’re not going to touch it. Or if it’s something else. You can get arrested.”
With increased searches, the TSA wants to hire more officers.
“Our TSA officers are super-well trained and are very vigilant and focused on their mission to make sure that people get to their destination safely.”
Anyone interested in applying can attend the TSA’s hiring event at the Schenectady College and Outreach Center and Department of Labor on January 19th from 11 am to 3 pm.