TSA says follow the rules with firearms

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- The TSA security checkpoint is not a good place to get caught with a weapon.

"We see a lot of knives, big knives, little knives. Stun guns, they can't come through either," said TSA Officer, Brad Shepherd.

Brad has seen some wild stuff in his 11 years with the TSA.

"I used to say I had seen everything but the kitchen sink, until someone actually brought through a kitchen sink," Shepherd said.

The TSA staff sees guns too, which can travel with you, just not as a carry-on.

"You can travel with it in your checked bag, as long as its properly packaged," said spokesperson for TSA, Carrie Harmon, during an event at the Grand Junction Regional Airport, about the proper way to bring guns through security.

Guns have to be unloaded and in a hard case with a lock, and they can only be checked baggage. The same goes for ammo. It has to be in its original box, or in a hard case and under lock and key.

"All firearms, as long as they are properly declared, packaged, and locked up, they can all travel," said TSA Officer, Ronald Edmunds.

But travelers tend to break the rules.

"They just think that they can throw the rounds in the bag, or, 'Its ok as long as my gun is downstairs but my rounds are up here,'" Edmunds said.

And it's a problem that is growing nationwide.

"In 2017, we had about 17 percent more firearms brought to the checkpoints around the country than in the previous year," Harmon said.

So if you do bring a gun to the airport, make sure you play by the rules.

"Once they voluntarily abandon it, it becomes U.S. property," Shepherd said.

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