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TSA officers are finding more guns than ever before

The TSA says 4,432 firearms were confiscated at checkpoints in 2019. That's up 5% from 2018.
Credit: TSA
The TSA confiscated 4,432 firearms at checkpoints across the country in 2019.

A new report from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says their officers found more firearms at checkpoints last year than ever before.

The TSA says 4,432 firearms were located in carry-on bags or on passengers at checkpoints across the country in 2019. That's about 12.1 firearms per day.

The numbers from 2019 are up 5% from 2018, and represent the highest number in the TSA's 18-year history. Of those 4,432 guns, the TSA says 3,863 were loaded, and 1,507 had a round chambered. 

The five airports with the most gun confiscations were:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International - 323
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International - 217
  • Denver International - 140
  • George Bush Intercontinental - 138
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International - 132

Only 40 guns were found at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, according to a full list posted by TSA.

“The continued increase in the number of firearms that travelers bring to airport checkpoints is deeply troubling,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske in a news release Wednesday. “There is a proper way to travel safely with a firearm. First and foremost, it should be unloaded. Then it should be packed in a hard-sided locked case, taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared, and checked.” 

TSA checkpoint at MSP Airport (Credit: KARE 11)

People who bring firearms to a TSA checkpoint can face criminal charges, and civil penalties from the TSA. Even if a traveler has a concealed weapon permit, weapons are not allowed on an airplane.

Travelers with the proper permits can bring firearms in checked bags if they follow these guidelines.

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