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More air travelers try to bring guns aboard their flights at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport than any other Florida airport, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
The surveillance video exclusively obtained by NBC 6 leaves little doubt about the TSA’s findings. Checkpoint agents who are screening the passengers and their carryon bags intercept the weapons before they can make it aboard.
One passenger tried to make it through with this small caliber weapon and six bullets. It turns out Fort Lauderdale has been the number one place in Florida for passengers trying to get weapons past security checkpoints or on board in their luggage.
"Florida leads the nation in the number of concealed weapons permits that people have. I think that drives the numbers up. Plus, I think more people are carrying on a day-to-day basis," said Broward Sheriff's Office Capt.Roy Liddicott.
TSA agents at the airport in Fort Lauderdale said so far this year they’ve found 38 weapons. Last year, they found a total of 43. At the Miami airport, agents have confiscated 30, more than double the number from the previous year.
A review of TSA and local police reports found that all types of people show up ready to fly, while packing heat. Authorities say Broward pastor Edward Brinson brought his loaded .380 Kel-Tec. He had a valid weapons permit and was allowed to fly after taking his gun back to his car, authorities said.
Others, though, end up under arrest, like Atis Clifford. He wound up in jail instead of on his flight to Pittsburgh. Clifford was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, authorities said. There was no flight to Baltimore for Angel Ward either. Police say she had her 25 caliber Colt with six bullets in her carryon bag. She told police she forgot to take it out but was still charged.
"Most people tell us they forgot, but you can still be arrested and we have arrested people in the past," said Liddicott.
One senior citizen had his vacation ruined when he tried to get to the Bahamas with this Kel-Tec handgun. The TSA saId technology and screeners are working around the clock to make sure the weapons don’t slip through.
NBC 6 reached out to the pastor for comment, but he didn’t want to talk about what happened. The two other people who were arrested say they're not guilty and have court dates coming up.
While some of the weapons taken come from those making mistakes, the security teams don’t have any room for error in case there is someone out to do real harm.