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Number of guns seized at RDU rises dramatically

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There has been a 90 percent increase so far in guns confiscated from last year.

The TSA has placed RDU on its radar after a dramatic spike in gun confiscations this year.

So far, 36 weapons have been seized in 2016. That's almost a 90 percent rise since 2015 when 19 guns were seized from travelers.

The TSA shared photos with ABC11 of some of the guns confiscated.

One flyer tried to get a 9mm, along with eight rounds, through the security checkpoint. Another traveler had a semi-automatic pistol, along with 12 hollow point bullets, in his carry-on.

The federal agency said most of the guns found were loaded.

RDU flier Lindsey Dickinson learned about the rise before her flight to Boston.

"It's scary. It's definitely scary," she said.

She is alarmed by the statistics but trying to feel reassured.

"At least they're catching the guns and there hasn't been an incident," Dickinson said. "I'm glad they're catching them before they actually make it into the airport."
Airport officials say the people who tried to bring the weapons through explained to officers they either forgot or didn't realize they were carrying.

Those individuals were either ticketed or arrested.

To fly with a firearm, the gun must be unloaded and locked inside a hard-sided container, which must then be checked. The weapon has to be declared with the airline.

Signs are posted inside the airport notifying travelers on how to fly with your firearm. RDU is re-examining whether to add more information to educate the public.

"There is no excuse for bringing in a firearm through a security checkpoint at an airport point. There are legal ways to transport your weapon and those need to be done in conjunction with your airline. Each airline has different policies," said RDU spokesperson Andrew Sawyer. "We have more than 10 million people a year traveling through the airport, 30,000 people a day passing through here, it's still a very small number. And we're really appreciative of the TSA for checking passengers and screening and making sure these didn't enter the sterile areas of the airport."

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