CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Firearms continue to make their way into Charlotte Douglas Airport at an alarming pace. TSA officials caution the public, no matter the reason, if you bring a firearm to a check point you'll face charges and it could take a dent out of your bank account. TSA officials say often times those who bring firearms to the airport simply forgot, but they still walk away with hefty fines.
"Up to $11,000 per incident. As a matter of fact in Asheville earlier this year we had an individual who was fined $7,500 for trying to bring a firearm through the checkpoint," said Kevin Frederick, TSA Security Director.
Frederick says in 2012, 17 firearms were seized, in 2013, 27 were seized and so far this year, 28 firearms have been confiscated. If you bring a weapon to the TSA check point in Charlotte expect criminal charges as well.
"Some have asked about possessing a carry concealed weapon permit that is not an excuse for bringing a weapon to a checkpoint - still face those criminal charges, civil penalties and loss of weapon," said Lt. David Moorefield with Charlotte Police.
TSA brought out a number of prohibited items seized in the last year including knives, golf club, a small baseball bat and even machetes. Frederick says the law will be enforced no matter the reason.
"This individual bought that bag at a yard sale, he never looked through that bag, all the contents, all the side pockets, but sure enough when we found that previous owner that pistol in there belonged to the grandmother who forgot where they put it. And sure enough that's where it was.
TSA recommends going by a checklist before leaving for the airport and always check your bags properly before going to checkpoints. If planning on checking a weapon during air travel be sure to use the proper casing, a hard-sided container, and the weapon must be unloaded.