- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Transportation Security Administration found a record number of firearms last week inside the carry-on bags of airline passengers, the TSA said Friday.

During the week leading up to Memorial Day, TSA officials discovered a record 74 firearms in carry-on bags attempted to be brought onboard airlines across the country, the agency said in a blog post.

Sixty-five of those weapons were loaded, and 18 had a round in the chamber ready to be fired, the TSA said.

The previous record for the number of firearms detected by the TSA during a single week, 73, was set back in April.

Other contraband detected by security officials last week include an array of knives, throwing stars and ammunition. At Boise Airport in Iowa, 98 gun primers and 45 black powder pellets were found in the same single carry-on bag, the TSA said.

“Unfortunately, these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested,” wrote Bob Burns with the TSA’s social media team.

Ammunition can be transported by air if stowed properly in checked baggage, and firearms may be allowed if declared with the airline, but never in carry-on bags, Mr. Burns wrote. Firearm possession laws vary by location, but individuals caught with weapons in their carry-on bags can face penalties ranging up to an $11,000 fine he added.

On Tuesday this week, a Woodbridge, Virginia, man was charged with possession of a firearm, a Class 1 misdemeanor, after he attempted to bring a loaded 9mm handgun through a security checkpoint at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C., a local Fox network reported.

Officials confiscated the gun, which contained 11 bullets, including one in the chamber, and allowed the passenger to board the flight, the Fox affiliate reported.

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