KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s been a big jump in the number of guns turning up in carry-on baggage at Kansas City International Airport.
The Transportation Security Administration has seen a rise in the number of guns found in carry-ons at KCI over the last several years.
In 2022, TSA officers found 92 guns in people’s carry-ons at KCI — that’s a nearly 30%t increase from the year before and nearly double the 48 guns officers found in 2018.
In 2019, the number of guns found in carry-ons at KCI jumped to 67. During the pandemic the next year that number dipped to 30. But it was back up 65 in 2021.
“I think you do have to be a little leery of that but it’s not going to deter me from flying,” traveler Sheri Rehmer said.
Last year, the rate of gun detections in the state of Missouri were more than two times the national average.
TSA Regional Spokesperson Mark Howell said people often blame being forgetful. He said they also find more guns in carry-ons in open carry states.
“People get used to carrying their guns on a day to day basis. When they head out the door they grad their wallet, their keys, and many times their guns and we need to flip that mind set for people that are traveling,” Howell said. “Because if they come to the security checkpoint with a gun, we get local law enforcement involved, we also issue a civil penalty to those passengers that bring guns.”
People could face up to a $15,000 penalty, according to Howell. Not to mention, you’ll probably miss your flight.
Howell said there is a right way to travel with a gun. Check it at the ticket counter in a hard, locked case with ammunition stored separately.