TSA Increases Maximum Firearm Fine

posted on December 22, 2022

On December 16, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced an increase in the maximum fine for firearms detected at its airport screening sites and the “secure” areas behind. Inadvertently attempting to bring one through a TSA checkpoint could result in a civil penalty of $14,950. The news came just prior to the heavy holiday travel season and reminds enthusiasts to double-check everything before heading to the airport—those last-minute oversights are more expensive than ever.

There are no exemptions for traveling citizens to carry their firearm on board an aircraft, even with concealed-carry permits or when departing from an airport in a constitutional-carry state. Specific law-enforcement personnel, and certain airline employees, can bring a firearm on board when specific requirements are met. That option is not available to the general public.

“I applaud the work of our Transportation Security Officers who do an excellent job of preventing firearms from getting into the secure area of airports, and onboard aircraft,” said TSA administrator David Pekoske. “Firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags at the checkpoint and onboard aircraft.”

Enthusiasts can still travel with a firearm in checked luggage, but they must meet all TSA regulations. Included on that list is the requirement that firearm(s) must be unloaded in locked, hard-sided case(s) and comply with local regulations. Check with your specific carrier for additional rules, which vary by company. You must also declare you have an unloaded firearm and/or ammunition in your luggage when at the check-in counter.

In addition to the increased fine, passengers found to have entered a TSA checkpoint with a firearm can also expect enhanced screening, loss of TSA PreCheck eligibility for at least five years and the possibility of arrest if the gun violates state or local law in the airport’s location.


Gotw 2020 Redline Cover
Gotw 2020 Redline Cover

Gun Of The Week: Springfield Armory Model 2020 Redline

Watch American Rifleman staff on the range in this week's video to learn about Springfield's modern bolt-action hunting rifle, the Model 2020 Redline.

The Armed Citizen® Sept. 22, 2023

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Picking A Propellant For Your Handloads

Choosing the best propellant for the application is critical to optimal load performance. Here, we provide guidance on navigating the oceans of smokeless propellant options.

Shooter’s Choice Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Shooter's Choice is marking the milestone with fresh branding and product updates.

ATN Corp Awarded DoD Contact

The U.S. Dept. of Defense has selected ATN Corp. to fulfill a $25 million contract that will supply thermal- imaging systems to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

I Have This Old Gun: Colt 1878 Double-Action Revolver

Despite its success in the single-action revolver market, Colt fell behind when double-action revolvers became popular in the late 1870s. The Colt 1878 was a robust, large-frame revolver that would carry the company into the 20th century.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.