Guns at Milwaukee airport; TSA stops 10 through June

Transportation Security Administration officers stopped 10 handguns at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport through the first six months of 2023.

At the same point last year, 12 guns had been stopped in Milwaukee. The 2023 total continues to climb; another gun was detected on July 4.

"As summer travel ramps up, we continue to see far too many passengers bringing firearms to the checkpoint," Wisconsin TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay said. "This is a careless, expensive mistake that introduces unnecessary risk into the crowded checkpoint environment. We hope to see these figures decline in the second half of the year."

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Elsewhere in Wisconsin, TSA said five guns were caught at Appleton International, two at Dane County Regional and one at Green Bay Austin Straubel Field through June 30, 2023.

Nationwide, TSA officers intercepted 3,251 firearms at airport security checkpoints during the first half of 2023. The total represents an average 18 per day at TSA checkpoints, of which more than 92% were loaded. This is an increase from the first half of 2022 when officers stopped 3,053 firearms at security checkpoints, of which more than 86% were loaded. 

TSA screening at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport

When passengers bring guns to the TSA security checkpoint, officers contact local law enforcement to check the contents of the carry-on bag, safely unload and take possession of the firearm and process the passenger in accordance with local laws on firearms. TSA will impose a civil penalty up to $14,950, eliminate TSA PreCheck eligibility for five years and may require enhanced screening. Some passengers will be arrested or cited, depending on local laws on firearms.

TSA recommends that passengers pack an empty bag. Prior to packing an empty bag, check TSA’s "What Can I Bring?" tool to know what is prohibited. The most common prohibited items at TSA checkpoints are oversized liquids under the liquids, gels and aerosols rule.

The complete list of penalties is available on the TSA website.