DALLAS (CBSDW.COM) – A new record set at Dallas Love Field Airport has the facility’s Federal Security Director concerned.
Director Amy Williams said in April alone agents have found six handguns in carryon bags, at TSA checkpoints.
“Last year from the period of January first through the end of April we only found one firearm,” she said.
This year, since January 15 guns have been discovered in Love Field carryon bags.
“DFW [International Airport], year to date, has found 16 weapons, or discovered 16 weapons,” Williams said. “So we’re right at the same mark as DFW Airport and obviously they have a much larger passenger load than we do.”
Williams believes the increased number of violations is a direct correlation to an increase in the number of people with concealed handgun licenses.
“Typically when we discover a weapon the individual does say, ‘well I have a concealed handgun license.’ But an airport is a place where weapons are prohibited.”
Now administrators at Love Field will focus on educating passengers about what is and isn’t allowed in or on airplanes.
Williams stressed the carryon rule doesn’t mean people can’t travel with weapons.
“That doesn’t mean that you can’t transport firearms on an airplane, you certainly can — through checked baggage. And there are certain requirements that the air carrier requires for you to do so.”
Williams says even if it’s an honest mistake, once you’re at the checkpoint it’s too late and passengers are arrested and charged.
“We can take civil action against the passenger with fines up to $10,000.”
This year, all of the individuals arrested at Love Field were caught when TSA agents identified the weapons in a checkpoint x-ray machine. The criminal charge is Weapons in a Prohibited Place.
To help better educate passengers TSA has come out with a Smartphone app that specifies how individuals with a weapons license can safely and legally travel with a firearm.