ST. LOUIS — The Transportation Security Administration said there’s a right and wrong way to travel with a firearm. They’ve seen an increase in passengers attempting to put their firearm in their carry-on luggage, and it’s not just happening at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. 

“We’re seeing a huge uptick in the number of guns coming to security checkpoints nationwide,” TSA Regional Spokesperson Mark Howell said.  

TSA Regional Spokesperson Mark Howell said over the past two years, the number of firearms TSA has confiscated at St. Louis Lambert International Airport has nearly doubled. 

“In 2019, we had a total of 57 firearms come to security checkpoints when the volume is higher than it is right now, in 2021 a total of 102, but things are starting to pick up in terms of volume,” Howell said.  

The total number of 102 is more than all airports in Missouri combined in 2021. 

Howell said nearly 90 percent of the firearms seized were loaded, which he said could be the case for certain states because of their gun laws.   

“You’ll see those numbers for firearms be higher in those states where there’s open carry and conceal carry because people get used to carrying them on a day-to-day basis,” Howell said. 

He said the TSA protocols are in place to keep people safe.  

“If you want to take your firearm with you when you travel, we don’t want to infringe on that right. We just don’t want them on board the aircraft for obvious reasons,” Howell said.  

He said there’s a right and wrong way to do it.  

“It needs to be checked at checked luggage. if you bring it to the checkpoint that’s the absolute wrong way to do it. Packing it the proper way and declaring to the airline to be placed underneath the aircraft is the absolute right way and we have no issue with that,” Howell said.