WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP) – TSA officers intercepted more than 1,500 firearms at security checkpoints during the first three months of the year. That’s more than 16 guns caught per day.

According to TSA, that is a 10 percent increase over the same period last year. However, the number of passengers a year over year also increased. Ninety-three percent of the firearms seized were loaded.

Passengers may travel with a firearm if they properly pack the firearm in checked baggage and declare it with the airline at check-in. The maximum civil penalty for a firearms violation is nearly $15,000.

“Firearms at TSA security checkpoints present an unacceptable safety and security risk to other passengers and I am deeply concerned that the majority of these firearms our TSOs catch are loaded,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “If you carry a firearm to the checkpoint, our TSOs will see it and there will be significant penalties, to include federal penalties and additional screening, which may prolong the security screening process. You may still travel with a firearm – it just must be properly packed in your checked baggage and you must declare it to the airline.”