HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Huntsville International Airport (HSV) are giving advice to passengers during this spring break travel surge to include specifics about prohibited items. "Last year, across the state of Alabama, we stopped 89 guns. This year, we have already stopped 26," Sari Koshetz, Spokesperson with the Transportation Security Administration shares. "That means we are going to unfortunately set a record yet again this year in the state. The number last year we stopped 21 guns here in Huntsville last year and we've stopped three so far year to date. Each one of those was loaded. So, we know that that could be a tragedy waiting to happen and we don't want to see that happen."
Huntsville International Airport (HSV) is the largest commercial airport in North Alabama, serving over 1 million passengers annually and with numbers climbing back to pre-covid standards, TSA is making sure passengers are more travel aware. "It's your responsibility as a passenger to know where your gun is before you enter a federal security checkpoint," Koshetz shares. "If you need to travel with your gun, want to travel with your gun, it needs to be in your checked bag."
Planning ahead and packing properly can expedite the screening process and ease your travel experience at the airport. Know what you can pack before arriving at the airport by checking the prohibited items list. Carrying prohibited items may cause delays for you and other travelers, but they may also lead to fines and sometimes even arrest. "Any arrests made by our law enforcement partners, so that'll be a police department or sheriff's department depending on what city you're in," Koshetz shares. "And it will be up to them whether you actually get physically arrested or cited for a future court appearance, and our fines are definitely independent of that. You will get the fine from us regardless of whether the police choose to arrest you."
Any flammable liquid or gel fuels, including but not limited to gasoline, lighter fluids, cooking fuels; turpentine and paint thinners
$390 - $2,250
Axes and hatchets; bows and/or arrows; ice axes and ice picks; knives with blades that open automatically (such as switchblades); knives with blades that open via gravity (such as butterfly knives); any double-edge knives or daggers; meat cleavers; sabers; swords; fencing foils;machetes; throwing stars
$390 - $2,250
BB, pellet, and compressed-air guns; flare and starter pistols; realistic replicas of firearms (including gun lighters); permanently inert firearms; spear guns; stun guns, cattle prods, or other shocking devices
$390 - $2,250
Blasting caps; dynamite; gunpowder (more than 10 oz.); hand grenades; plastic explosives; all other high explosives
$8,960 - $14,950 + criminal referral
Loaded firearms (or unloaded firearms with accessible ammunition)
$3,000 - $10,700 + criminal referral / $10,700 - $14,950 + criminal referral (repeat violation)
Realistic replicas of explosives; inert hand grenades; intact vehicle air bags
$740 - $3,720 + criminal referral
Self-defense spray, tear gas
$390 - $2,250
$1,500 - $5,370 + criminal referral
Spring Break Travel Tips
- As you prepare to fly during this busy spring break period, the TSA and airport officials will offer and elaborate on these stress-reducing tips:
- Plan your parking location or ride to the airport early.
- Remember the 3-1-1 rules for liquids, gels and aerosols if you are traveling with only a carry-on, and take your items out at the checkpoint.
- Leave prohibited items such as pocketknives and large tools at home,or check in your bag.
- Don’t ever bring your gun, ammunition or magazines to the security checkpoint.
- Have your valid ID ready.
- Empty your pockets and put your phones, change and items such as your wallet into your carry-on rather than into a bin.
- @AskTSA your questions in real time on Twitter and Facebook Messenger even before leaving home