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Despite fewer travelers due to COVID, more guns seized at airport checkpoints in 2020 than in 2019

TSA screening
Posted at 12:22 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 15:22:31-05

Despite the decrease in air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers confiscated more guns from passengers in 2020 than in 2019.

According to a press release, TSA confiscated 3,257 guns at checkpoints at US airports last year, or about 10 firearms per million passengers. About 83% of those guns were loaded.

About five guns per million passengers were found in 2019, TSA said.

In 2019, TSA agents found 4,432 firearms at checkpoints, of which 87% were loaded.

“I commend our officers for their commitment to TSA’s security mission by identifying and stopping these weapons at the TSA checkpoints. Firearms are strictly prohibited on board planes in the passenger cabin,” said Senior Official Performing the Duties of TSA Administrator Darby LaJoye in the news release. “Bringing a firearm to a TSA security checkpoint poses a serious risk to TSA officer and passenger safety, and doing so may result in significant fines or arrest.”

Most guns were discovered at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport with 220. Dallas/Ft. Worth International came in second with 176 guns confiscated.

The other airports that saw the most guns seized in 2020 were:

3Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)126
4Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)124
5Denver International Airport (DEN)104
6Nashville International Airport (BNA)94
7Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)87
8Orlando International Airport (MCO)79
9Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS)72
10Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)71

According to TSA, firearms were discovered at 234 US airport checkpoints.