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Police will now arrest any Atlanta passenger found with loaded, unholstered guns at checkpoints

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — As officials prepare for the busy summer travel season, police want to stop guns from showing up at security checkpoints inside Atlanta’s airport.

An Atlanta police commander said that police have changed their policy to make more arrests.

“This is something new that we’ve implemented. If you bring a firearm to the checkpoint with a round in the chamber and the firearm is unholstered, you will be arrested,” Maj. Kelley Collier said.

So far this year, TSA officers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have discovered at least 148 guns at checkpoints, 15 more than the same period last year. That’s more than one every day.

“They not only break the law, they also put the safety and peace of mind of other passengers at risk,” Collier said.

Previously, passengers who were caught with a loaded gun at security would be taken to APD precinct at the airport and then cited or fined.

Now anyone caught with a loaded and unholstered gun will be arrested and taken to the Clayton County jail. The gun owner would likely face a misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct, which is punishable by up to a year in jail or a fine up to $2,500.

The TSA says you can still check a gun if it’s packed and declared properly.

“If you need to travel with your firearm, it cannot be in your carry-on bag. It must be in your checked luggage,” TSA Federal Security Director Robert Spinden says.

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