BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Officials with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced Tuesday that more firearms are being found at checkpoints in Tennessee than ever before.

According to a breakdown of firearms found at TSA checkpoints nationwide, over 6,300 guns have been discovered by agents this year. Tennessee’s cases account for 5.6% of that total at 353 incidents of firearms found in carry-on items.

Tri-Cities Regional Airport saw eight firearm discoveries this year, which matches last year’s all-time high. In 2020, only two firearms were detected.

“In addition to potential criminal citations, travelers face civil penalties for bringing firearms to the security checkpoint and TSA evaluates each firearm incident on a case-by-case basis,” TSA officials said in the announcement. “Among the factors TSA considers when determining the civil penalty amount includes whether the firearm was loaded and whether there was accessible ammunition.”

Firearms or ammunitions of any kind are banned in carry-on luggage, and can only be flown via a checked case that is declared with ticket staff. If a firearm is discovered, the TSA can pursue civil penalties of up to $14,950 and criminal citations.

To check regulations for firearms and other materials before flying, the TSA recommended travelers visit their website for more information.