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TSA officers at Sky Harbor have found a record number of guns in carry-on bags this year

The Transportation Security Administration says the yearly record for the number of guns found in carry-on bags at Sky Harbor International Airport has been shattered.

The federal agency wants people to learn the right way to travel with their firearm.

With an expected busy holiday travel season left in 2021, TSA officers at Sky Harbor have found 177 guns in carry-on bags.

The tally is more than a third higher than the previous yearly record. TSA spokesperson, Patricia Mancha, said the only way a passenger’s gun is allowed on a plane is in checked luggage.

“You can travel with a firearm but it must be in a hardback case that locks. It must be unloaded. And it must be declared with the airline,” she said.

Mancha said those who leave guns in their carry-on bags face fines, lose the chance to be in a trusted passenger program and usually miss their flight.

TSA also calls local police, which investigates.

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Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.