SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake City International Airport officials are seeing more firearms and other weapons at security checkpoints.
Airport officials reminded people Wednesday that firearms and other weapons are not permitted past the security checkpoints, said Barbara Gann, Salt Lake City Department of Airports spokeswoman.
Since January, seven people have been arrested for firearms at the airport. Last year, the Department of Airports said, there were 20 firearms arrests and 35 arrests for possession of other weapons.
"It's astounding that we continue to find this many weapons coming through our security checkpoints," Gann said.
Consequences for bringing a firearm or weapon to the checkpoint can be criminal prosecution and fines up to $10,000.
Most of the weapons are unintentionally carried into the airport, Gann said, or there is confusion on the part of some people with concealed weapons permits about where they can carry their weapons.
Rep. Curtis Oda, R-Clearfield, said the vast majority of people had no intention of breaking the law and that many with concealed carry permits just become accustomed to carrying weapons.
"It's like putting a pen in your pocket; you forget that it is there. It's very easy not to think about that. It becomes a part of you."
Oda said a friend of his with a weapon was stopped at the security checkpoint, and it almost happened to him, but the intention was never to take a weapon onto the plane.
"If they are trying to take it through, they deserve everything they get."
The airport also wants to keep in mind the safety of its employees.
A skycap was accidently shot last year, airport officials said, when a loaded firearm fell out of a bag in front of the terminal.
If a passenger wants to take a weapon onto a plane, the weapon must be packed in a hard-sided container packed inside checked luggage.
For more information, click on the "prohibited items" link under the "for travelers" tab at www.tsa.gov.