In 2020, firearms were caught at airport security checkpoints at double the 2019 rate, despite an overall plunge in travelers amid the pandemic, according to the TSA.
The agency found approximately ten guns per million passengers screened in 2020, as compared to about five guns per million passengers screened in 2019.
This comes as total passengers screened in 2020 fell by nearly 500 million due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement from TSA officials.
“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 onboard planes in the passenger cabin,” said Senior Official Performing the Duties of TSA Administrator Darby LaJoye. “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.”
TSA officers discovered a total of 3,257 guns on passengers or in their carry-on bags at checkpoints in 2020. About 83% of those firearms were loaded.
In 2019, TSA officers stopped a record 4,432 firearms at checkpoints, of which 87% were loaded.
Top 10 airports where TSA officers detected guns at checkpoints in 2020:
|1||Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport||220|
|2||Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport||176|
|3||Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport||126|
|4||Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport||124|
|5||Denver International Airport||104|
|6||Nashville International Airport||94|
|7||Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport||87|
|8||Orlando International Airport||79|
|9||Las Vegas McCarran International Airport||72|
|10||Salt Lake City International Airport||71|