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Flying with firearms: Guns found at checkpoints on the rise

You’re not allowed to bring a firearm to a checkpoint inside any airport. While most people are aware of that rule, it’s still happening more and more across the country.

About 3,300 guns were found at checkpoints in 2016, and 2,453 were found in 2015.

"More guns plus more people traveling equals more guns at airports," said Mark Howell with the Transportation Security Administration.

Myrtle Beach International Airport is no exception to the trend.

"So far this year, here in Myrtle Beach, we've had a total of three. That's kind of high for this early in the year," Howell said.

The last incident resulted in an arrest, but Howell said that’s not the only punishment.

"TSA will also issue a civil penalty to you and that can go up to a maximum of $11,000 on the first offense,” he said.

Some of the more common excuses are, “I forgot to take the gun out of my bag,” or, “I didn’t know it was there.”

Even products that resemble guns aren’t allowed in carry-on items.

"We don't want to infringe on anybody's rights to take a firearm with them when they travel. We just, for obvious reasons, don't want it on-board the aircraft. So, if you want to take it with you, follow all the steps outlined on the TSA website to check it,” Howell said.

The bottom line is that a gun needs to be stored in a compartment under the plane, and you need to check it to get it there.

According to the official TSA blog, the TSA discovered 56 firearms last week in carry-on bags around the country. They said 51 were loaded and 19 had a round chambered.

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