Transportation Security Administration agents arrested 4,495 passengers who attempted to carry firearms at airport security checkpoints in the first nine months of 2021, the agency said on Wednesday. This represents an increase from 4,432 stops in 2019 and sets a 20-year record.
Officers found guns at 248 different airports across the country. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport recorded the most discoveries with 391, followed by Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport with 232 and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport with 168, said the ‘agency.
Eleven firearms have been discovered in carry-on baggage for every million passengers screened in the United States so far this year. The TSA said the penalty for attempting to bring a gun to airport security varies from case to case.
“The number of firearms our TSA officers stop at airport checkpoints is alarming,” TSA administrator David Pekoske said. “Firearms, especially loaded firearms, present an unnecessary risk at checkpoints, have no place in the passenger cabin of an airplane, and represent a very costly mistake for passengers trying to board. aboard a flight with them. “
The agency noted that it is still setting the record with three months remaining in the calendar year and despite the drop in the total number of travelers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to TSA guidelines, firearms are not permitted in carry-on baggage. However, travelers can store unloaded firearms in a locked hard case in checked baggage. The agency advises passengers to review federal and state gun laws before traveling with one. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with weapons and ammunition.