KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Screeners and TSA agents found dozens of firearms illegally packed in carry-on luggage at Missouri airports in 2021. The government said it was the highest number of guns found at Missouri airports in at least four years.

St. Louis Lambert International Airport led the way. Agents reported finding a statewide record of 102 guns in carry-on luggage in 2021. The TSA said that is higher than the total number of guns found at all Missouri airports in 2020.

At KCI Airport, 65 guns were discovered in carry-on luggage last year. That is much higher than the 30 found in 2020 when fewer people were flying because of the pandemic. It was similar to the 67 guns TSA reported finding in carry-ons in 2019.

The agency reported finding 13 guns in carry-ons at Springfield-Branson National Airport in 2021, and one gun at Joplin Regional Airport.

According to the TSA, a firearm was detected for every 97,999 passengers screened nationally. The rate in Missouri was much higher. In the state, TSA said one firearm was discovered for every 51,184 screenings.

Passengers who are caught with a gun in their carry-on luggage face civil penalties and fines. While each case is handled differently, passengers face a maximum fine of $13,900 for each violation. Trusted Traveler status and TSA PreCheck screening benefits will also be revoked for a period of time.

It is legal to fly with a gun on a commercial aircraft, as long as it is done correctly. The TSA said guns must be unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case, and placed in checked luggage. After arriving at an airport, passengers must declare the firearm, ammunition and firearm parts at the airline ticket counter during the check-in process. Each airline may have additional rules for flying with a firearm.

More information about traveling with a firearm can be found on the TSA website. Travelers can also message or tweet @AskTSA with questions.