COLONIE N.Y. – The Transportation Security Administration held a demonstration on the proper way travelers can bring their guns with them when they fly on Thursday.
Officials say TSA officers are detecting an increase of firearms at checkpoints before travelers get on planes. They say that this not only slows down security, but it is also the wrong way to carry a firearm.
Lisa Farbstein, with the TSA at Albany International Airport, says travelers are not understanding firearm rules. This hasn’t only become a problem in Upstate New York; TSA workers say the number of guns found on travelers at checkpoints is on the rise nationwide. In 2013 more than 1,800 firearms were detected and in 2014 there have been more than 1,000.
“You can travel with a firearm on an airplane, but there is a right way you can do it and a wrong way,” said Farbstein.
Carrying a firearm on a plane the wrong way will not only slow down security, but law enforcement will get involved.
“We notify the police and they come to the checkpoint and it’s up to the police whether they will cite or make an arrest,” explained Farbstein.
To save the hassle at any airport, Farbstein says the first step is to not bring any firearm through the checkpoint.
“You have a hard sided case, you take your unloaded firearm, it must be unloaded, you put it in the case. If you have ammunition it must be in a cardboard box, a wooden box or metal box, and it can go right in there as well,” she said.
The case must also be sealed and locked. Once a traveler with a firearm arrived to the airport, they must take it at the airline counter and declare the firearm. Paperwork must also be filed.
“If you need a permit, it will be checked at that point as well, and then the airline will make sure that firearm will go into the belly of the plane,” said Farbstein.
The TSA says the same rules apply for replica guns and firearm parts. Only one firearm was detected at the Albany International Airport in 2014, with ten altogether in NYS.