TSA intercepted record number of firearms at security checkpoints in 2022

(The Hill) – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) intercepted a record number of firearms at security checkpoints in 2022, surpassing 6,000 in a year for the first time.

In a press release on Friday, the TSA said it intercepted 6,301 firearms this year, more than 88% of which were loaded. The figure surpasses the previous record of 5,972 set last year, and officials expect that number to rise to around 6,600 by the end of the year, an increase of more than 10% from compared to 2021.

“I applaud the work of our transportation security officers who are doing an excellent job of keeping firearms out of the secure area of ​​airports and on board aircraft,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. .

The number of firearms captured at security checkpoints has increased dramatically over the past decade, from just 1,123 in 2010. The number of incidents has steadily increased every year, with the exception of 2020, where it dropped by more than 1,000 (largely due to reduced passenger numbers amid the COVID-19 pandemic) before recovering the following year.

TSA rules prohibit firearms in carry-on baggage at any security checkpoint, even if a passenger has a concealed weapon permit.

The agency also increased the maximum civil penalty for a firearms violation to $14,950 to deter guns from being brought through checkpoints, though the TSA determines the penalty on a case-by-case basis. Passengers found in possession of a firearm will also have their TSA PreCheck eligibility revoked for at least five years.

Passengers who bring a firearm to a checkpoint may also be arrested, depending on state or local law.

“When a passenger brings a gun to the checkpoint, it consumes significant security resources and poses a potential threat to transportation security, in addition to being very costly for the passenger,” Pekoske said.

Passengers wishing to carry a firearm must do so in checked baggage and declare the firearms to their airline upon check-in. Airlines may also have additional requirements.


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