AUSTIN, Texas — Within a week, TSA officers at Austin's airport helped find six guns in carry-on luggage at security checkpoints.
The total number of guns found so far this year, 114, has already surpassed all of last year's 110.
"We see it all ... not only guns but bullets, gun parts, silencers," said TSA spokesperson Patricia Mancha.
Mancha said around 90% of the guns found are loaded.
"Austin continuously is in the top 10 of airports nationwide where we find the most guns, even though it is not top 10 of the number of travelers or the size of the airport,” she said.
TSA uses a scanner to take a 3D image of carryon luggage at checkpoints to help locate weapons. The Austin Police Department is then called to confirm if it is a gun, and it will take over the case.
Passengers found with a weapon can face some serious consequences.
"Anything from fines to arrest," said Mancha.
Those fines can be up to nearly $14,000.
It is legal to travel with a firearm but it must be checked and not in a carry-on.
"They must be in a hard-sided container that locks, they must be unloaded and declared to the airline at the time that you check in your luggage, and, of course, they are required to be in checked luggage," said Mancha.
Austin is not the only Texas airport among the top in the country where guns are found in carry-ons. The TSA reports 216 guns were found at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport so far this year and 281 at Dallas-Fort Worth International.
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