TSA confiscates record number of guns in 2018

A TSA Agent checked the carry-on bag of a passenger at Logan Airport in Boston

Last year, the Transportation Security Administration discovered a record number of firearms in carry-on bags at 279 airport checkpoints around the country.

The release said passengers can "travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition".

More firearms were found in carry-on bags at DFW International Airport a year ago than at nearly any other airport in the country, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Airports with higher rates of firearm seizures were generally found in states with less strict gun laws. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport had 219 firearm discoveries, followed by Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with 129. Of those, 253 were loaded.

TSA also noted that a record number of travelers passed through airports in 2018, with 813.8 million people going through security screening.

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The Atlanta airport, which saw an increase of 53 guns seized from the year before, also set the record for most guns confiscated at one airport in a single month in August with 32.

"As a reminder, individuals who bring weapons to a checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000", the TSA said.

The outlet reported that the vast majority of offenders were men who ranged in age from their 30s to their 50s, and 63 percent were white. Our review of 2017 police records from seven airports found at least three cases where it appeared guns had gotten through checkpoints. But guns were also found in the luggage of an 84-year-old woman, a 10-year-old boy, a pastor, and an airport worker.

As part of its efforts to strengthen security, the TSA has improved signage reminding passengers that guns can not be transported in carry-on baggage and offers detailed instructions for how to properly pack an unloaded firearm in one's checked luggage. "We do everything we can to figure out why it happened". TSA shared pictures of smoke grenades, lighter fluid, fireworks, replica mortar shells, concealed knives and foil-wrapped scissors found in checked and carry-on bags.

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