BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In the last five days TSA agents have stopped three separate passengers who were about to board a plane with a gun. And with the busy holiday travel season upon us there is some cause for concern.
In the last year literally thousands of guns have been found on passengers trying to board planes. The excuse some passengers have, if that they forgot they were carrying a deadly weapon.
It’s a mind boggling trend for TSA agents travelers are being caught with weapons at security check points.
Thursday at BWI a man was caught with a loaded gun. Same story on Sunday; another loaded weapon. And just one day after that it was a woman from Delaware who said she didn’t see the gun in her purse.
Someone even tried to bring an ax through security .
“The number one excuse that we hear is that they forgot that they had it with them. The second most common excuse that we hear is that their wife or husband packed their bag, and I tell you what, neither or those excuses fly,” said Lisa Farbstein of the Transportation Security Administration.
In 2015 the TSA said agents seized 2,653 firearms, a 20 percent increase from the previous year.
The number of firearms confiscated at BWI are the worst it’s been in years.
“It is alarming and it’s scary!” said traveler Serena Hampton.
“I am sure people forget all the stuff all the time, but if they have noticed a certain uptick, some of those probably aren’t forgetfulness,” Michael Mercado, another traveler.
These three cases come as americans get ready for what’s expected to be a very busy holiday travel season, and the Maryland Transportation Authority says they’ve been preparing for weeks.
“We did those plans at the end of last month, figuring out what staffing we need increased from past thanksgivings. Amd so we already had that in place and we are ready to go,” said Lt. Eric Wilson of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police.
All three passengers who had guns in their carry-on at BWI were arrested.
“The TSA officers at BWI are really good at what they do and if you try to bring a firearm through a check point, they are going to stop you,” said Farbstein.
The TSA says this is a costly mistake. If agents find a gun in your carry-on, you’re looking at a fine anywhere from $3,000 to $12,000.
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