TSA - Transportation Security Administration

06/17/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/17/2024 13:42

Baton Rouge Travelers: Heed These Travel Tips as Summer Passenger Volumes Heat Up; TSA Officers Have Intercepted 7 Firearms Already This Year at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport

Local Press Release
Monday, June 17, 2024

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers are screening record numbers of passengers across the country. Passengers are reminded to arrive at the airport early and know what is in your bags. TSA officers at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR) have already intercepted seven firearms at the security checkpoint so far this year.

"As summer travel heats up, passengers are reminded to be sure they do not have prohibited items in their bags before heading to the airport," said TSA Spokesperson Sari Koshetz.

"Make sure your firearm is not in your carry-on bag and also check that you are not carrying a pocketknife or other items that are considered threats and are not permitted in the cabin of the aircraft."

Most items that are prohibited in your carry-on can be placed in a checked bag. But anything that is flammable, corrosive or explosive cannot travel anywhere on the plane. Hand grenades, even replica ones, cannot travel on the plane in checked or carry-on bags.

If you are going to travel with your firearm it must be in your checked bag, unloaded and in a locked hard-sided case. You must declare it to the airline at check-in. Travelers are responsible for being aware of what the firearm laws are on each side of their trip or they may be cited or heading to jail instead of to their vacation or business trip. Firearms may not be legal to transport even in checked baggage in some jurisdictions.

The most recent firearm intercepted by TSA at the BTR checkpoint was on May 22nd. A 60-year-old man headed to Charlotte was carrying a loaded Ruger Max9. All seven of the firearms TSA officers have intercepted this year at BTR were loaded.

"Last year passengers across the state of Louisiana brought 138 firearms to our security checkpoints with 13 of those in Baton Rouge. So far this year we have stopped 57 firearms across the state," Koshetz said. "We are not even halfway through the year, so simple math forebodes that the end of the year total will be substantially higher than last year's."

The specific year-to-date totals across Louisiana are 34 stopped at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, seven each at Shreveport Regional Airport and Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, four at Lafayette Regional Airport, two each at Lake Charles Regional Airport and Monroe Regional Airport and one at Alexandria International Airport.

"None of these firearms made it into the cabin of an aircraft thanks to the vigilance of our TSA officers," Koshetz added.

Many of the passengers across the country who bring firearms to a federal security checkpoint are arrested or issued notices to appear in court. Regardless of whether the individual is arrested or cited by law enforcement, with whom we immediately partner, passengers face a civil penalty imposed by the TSA that can reach nearly $15,000. If the traveler is in the TSA PreCheck program, those privileges will be lost for a period of time, possibly permanently.

The TSA is seeing record-breaking numbers of passengers traveling across the country so be sure to arrive early and do heed these travel tips for getting through the security checkpoint as efficiently and stress free as possible.

Tip 1: No firearms in carry-ons. Firearms must be in checked baggage. All firearms must be properly packed and declaredto the airline at check-in, which means unloaded and in a locked, hard-sided case. Contact your airline for additional guidance. And it is your responsibility to know what the firearm laws are on both sides of your trip.Tip 2: Leave all prohibited items at home. To reduce the likelihood of a bag search at the checkpoint, search your own suitcase, backpack, computer bag or purse before leaving home. Unsure if it's allowed: use the "What Can I Bring?"link on TSA.gov.Tip 3: Prepare for the security checkpoint. Have a valid ID cardreadily available. If you are traveling with a carry-on bag follow the liquids, gels and aerosols 3-1-1 rule of 3.4 ounces or less for each item and the items should be placed in a one-quart-sized bag, one bag per passenger. To simplify your screening and even before entering the checkpoint it is best to put your phones and any other content of your pockets into your carry-on rather than into a bin in the checkpoint.Tip 4:Help is available. Get live assistance by tweeting your questions to @AskTSAin English or Spanish or via Facebook Messenger. You can also call the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673.

Tip 5: Enroll now in TSA PreCheck.Travel with ease by enrolling in TSA PreCheck and avoid removing shoes, belts, liquids, laptops and light jackets. Most new enrollees receive a known traveler number within five days, and membership lasts for five years.