TSA say a record number of people showed up to RSW with a gun this year

The busy season for traveling is in kicking into full gear. More than 700,000 people passed through RSW in October, a record for the airport.

Dozens of those people were stopped and searched and found trying to take banned items onboard their flight.

Items like a pet shark and dead pets are nothing compared to the person who tried to wheel a dead body through security at RSW.

2021 is also a record-breaking year for the number of people who tried getting a gun through security.

33 different people have tried to walk through security with a weapon.

Robert McLaughlin, the federal security director and the man in charge of the Transportation Security Administration at RSW said most of them were loaded. “The vast majority if not all of them there’s no mal intent. They really did forget or there was a death in the family or there is some urgency to quickly go.”

McLaughlin said most people claim they forgot the gun was in their bag, but travelers WINK News spoke to don’t buy it.

“I don’t think that’s an accident, definitely not,” said Joseph Linder of Port Charlotte.

Maryland Thomas from Michigan agrees. “Oh I don’t believe that. I would never believe that!”

“So they’re just using that as an excuse. They know they can’t travel with that,” said Linder.

Anyone caught with a loaded weapon at RSW faces a $13,000 fine. Then Port Authority police take over to determine if the gun owner has a concealed-weapons permit. If not, most times, it means they are off to jail.

Some of the items TSA has taken from passengers in the last six months were razors, a baseball bat, pocket knives and hammers.

Passengers are thankful for the work that TSA does to keep them safe.

“Absolutely, I’m fine with it. The higher security safer for anyone traveling,” said Linder

McLaughlin said, “I’ve worked around the world for TSA and it’s really remarkable the staff here. Everything is taken very serious.”

The best advice on the busiest travel week of the year is to double-check your bag and get to the airport early to get through security.

Reporter:Andrea Guerrero
Writer:Matthew Seaver
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