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ST. LOUIS – TSA officials expect between 18,000 and 20,000 travelers a day to pass through St. Louis-Lambert International Airport over the next 10 days.

The airport line between you and your destination is longer this time of year. Doing your part to make your way through security as smoothly as possible starts with knowing the rules.

“One of the troubling things we’re seeing is the number of guns coming through checkpoints across the United States,” said TSA regional spokesman Mark Howell.

Security at Lambert has confiscated 100 guns so far this year, Howell said. That’s nearly double the number it found in 2019 when travel volume was similar.

“If you have a firearm and you want to travel with it, you can do so. It just needs to be packed the proper way – in a checked bag,” Howell said. “You can find the rules for that on the TSA website. It’s TSA.gov. Just look for the firearms and ammunition page.”

Guns aren’t the only prohibited items you need to check. Home and gardening tools won’t pass either.

“Please double-check what you bring into the airport,” Howell said.

Howell recommends being inside the airport at least two hours before your departure time. He shared this tip for those traveling with gifts to give.

“We recommend you don’t wrap those before you get to the airport. Use a gift bag or just wait until you get to your destination to wrap those,” he said. “Because if the bag or package alarms, we’re going to have to take a look at it and we don’t want to undo the wrapping you did before you came.”

Howell said the peak air travel days nationwide are Dec. 22 and Dec. 23. At St. Louis Airport, he expects all next week to be busy, so plan out where you’re going to park. Finally, don’t forget your facemask inside the airport. Mask wearing remains a requirement through March 18, 2022.