Six people tried to bring guns onto airplanes at Lafayette Regional Airport past year with one attempt April 18, federal security officials said Wednesday.

Among the more than 240,000 passengers and 600,000 bags screened at the Lafayette airport last year, the Transportation Security Administration confiscated more than 1,500 knives, six guns along with brass knuckles, stun guns and hammers. Passengers also tried to bring thousands of pounds of hazardous chemicals and even a small wooden paddle used to stir gumbo or jambalaya.

TSA officials made the presentation at the airport Wednesday in an effort to inform passengers on how to move through security checkpoints more efficiently through the Memorial Day weekend and the summer travel months.

"If people have prohibited items in their bags, that will slow down the line for everyone," TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz said. "So we want to remind everyone to know what's in your bag before you leave home. It's very important for us to get the message out to passengers during this busy travel season to let passengers know what not to bring to the checkpoint or in their carry-on bag or checked bag."

The six guns found at the Lafayette airport were among 95 that passengers tried to board a plane nationwide in 2018, according to the TSA. The penalty for trying to pass a gun through a federal checkpoint can exceed $13,000. 

Koshetz said some of the ways people can avoid being delayed at security checkpoints is to follow the 3-1-1 rule, in which quantities of liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces or less, fit in a 1-quart-sized, clear, plastic zip-top bag, and only one bag is allowed per traveler. Travelers also can apply for the TSA Pre-Check system to speed the process or check Ask TSA on Twitter, Facebook and for questions.

"We're committed to work with them and encourage all passengers to come here early, about an hour and a half before their flight, so the can ensure they can get through and on their flight," said Paul Segura, Lafayette Airport Commission chairman. "We want people to have a great travel experience coming through Lafayette."

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