TSA Found Record-Setting Number of Guns at Airports in 2018

TSA Found Record-Setting Number of Guns at Airports in 2018

TSA agents found 4,239 total firearms in carry-ons in 2018, an average of 81.6 firearms per week, or 11.6 per day. Of the firearms found, 3,656 (86.15 percent) were loaded—another record—and 1,432 (33.74 percent) of the total had a round chambered.

The Transportation Security Administration marked what it called a “milestone year” with the release of its “TSA Year in Review: A Record Setting 2018” on Thursday. Among other statistics, the agency reported that a record-setting number of firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at TSA checkpoints across the country last year.

TSA agents found 4,239 total firearms in carry-ons in 2018, an average of 81.6 firearms per week, or 11.6 per day. Of the firearms found, 3,656 (86.15 percent) were loaded—another record—and 1,432 (33.74 percent) of the total had a round chambered.

The most guns discovered in one month, a record-setting 32, were found in August at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Overall, firearm discoveries increased more than 7 percent (282 more) from 2017’s total of 3,957.

The following are the top 10 airports for firearm discoveries in 2018:

  1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): 298 – an increase of 53 compared to 2017 (253 loaded)
  2. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW): 219 (193 loaded)
  3. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX): 129 (120 loaded)
  4. Denver International Airport (DEN): 126 (95 loaded)
  5. Orlando International Airport (MCO): 123 (112 loaded)
  6. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH): 117 – a decrease of 25 firearms compared to 2017 (115 loaded)
  7. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL): 96 (80 loaded)
  8. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS): 93 (76 loaded)
  9. Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL): 89 (83 loaded)
  10. Nashville International Airport (BNA): 86 (80 loaded)

Laws about firearm possession vary by state and locality. The TSA may impose civil penalties of up to $13,333 per violation, per person for violations regarding prohibited items and other TSA regulations, and repeat violations will lead to higher penalties.

The agency recommends that travelers learn the state and local firearm laws for each point of travel. TSA’s rules for packing firearms in checked baggage can be found here.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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