In response to a record-breaking number of firearms being discovered at security checkpoints this year, the Transportation Security Administration is increasing the penalties for anybody found with a gun in their carry-on luggage.
The TSA announced the maximum penalties would increase to $14,950 on Friday.
It was formerly $13,910.
This year, TSA agents discovered 6,301 guns in carry-on luggage, breaking the previous high of 5,972 in 2021.
Over the past ten years, the numbers have progressively risen; in 2012, 1,549 guns were found at security checks.
The TSA reported that 88% of the weapons discovered this year were loaded.
Guns are never permitted in carry-on bags at any airport security checkpoint, even if a person has a concealed weapon permit.
Firearm possession regulations vary by location. Passengers must carry guns in checked luggage in a secured case.
The TSA stated that they must also disclose them to the airline.
At a congressional hearing earlier this year, some politicians and airport managers advocated for harsher penalties, gun safety education for offenders, and other actions.
The maximum sanctions, they claimed, were infrequently applied and ineffective as a deterrent.
Some politicians say higher fines won’t solve the issue, claiming that most detained passengers forgot they were carrying a gun.
When the TSA discovers a gun, it investigates whether it was stolen or used in a previous crime.
The organization may also take the weapon away.
Anyone detected with a gun at a security checkpoint will be subject to a fine, which the TSA will set depending on the specifics of each case, as well as having their eligibility for PreCheck suspended for at least five years.
Depending on the state or municipal laws in the airport’s location, passengers may also be detained for violating gun laws.