JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Transportation Security Administration has an important warning for those flying somewhere over the holidays: Leave the guns, hand grenades and throwing stars at home, or else.
A record number of guns were brought to airports across the state of Florida this year, including 39 found in travelers' carry-on luggage at Jacksonville International, according to the TSA.
The federal agency warns that those found with contraband items at security checkpoints could face fines up to $13,000, as well as possible criminal charges.
"Travelers are reminded that they might be heading to jail rather than to their desired destination if they don't focus on what is inside their carry-on bags," said TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz.
TSA agents have confiscated 39 guns, many of them loaded, during security screens in Jacksonville this year. That's compared to 33 in 2016, 25 in 2015 and 14 the year before that.
Statewide, 485 firearms were intercepted this year. That's up from 411 in 2016, 276 in 2015, 251 in 2014, and 228 in 2013.
In addition, agents frequently recover thousands of pounds of other banned objects, such as knives, brass knuckles and hazardous materials.
With millions of Americans set to travel for the holidays, TSA's urging people to go through their bags and remove any contraband before they leave for the airport.
Travelers are encouraged to arrive at least 90 minutes early and leave any gifts unwrapped to save time during security screening.