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Packing the heat and more inside the Fort Myers airport

Posted at 11:35 PM, Nov 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-07 07:18:18-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Guns, knifes, and weapons disguised as something else; you might be surprised what some people try to bring on to flights you're on in their carry-on bags.

We wanted to know what the TSA is finding at security checkpoints at Southwest Florida International Airport, so we sent Fox 4 investigator Alan Jennings to find out.

We spoke with TSA's Mark Howell, who revealed to Fox 4 that a troubling trend is that more guns than ever before are being carried into U.S. Airports, including in Fort Myers.

He says 16 carry-on baggage firearms were intercepted at RSW in 2016.  But so far in 2017, a whopping 26 firearms have been found.

So why the uptick?  Are more people forgetting that they've got a gun?  Howell chalks it up to just more people flying. 

But we discovered more than just guns in carry-ons…a lot more.  “We do see a lot of very sharp, a lot of scary looking knives. Extraordinary, just unbelievable."

If the passengers were not caught with these deadly weapons, they could have been sitting right next to you, posing deadly harm to you and the entire crew.

150 pounds of knives are confiscated every month at RSW. And during peak traveling season, that number can double.

Someone even tried to board the plane with a trailer hitch in their carry-on baggage.

This Fox 4 investigation isn't over.  We're going to press lawmakers to find out why armed passengers with a carry permit who try to get through security are not arrested or charged the way they are at the Lee County Courthouse.   We'll let you know what we find out.