The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has released stunning data showing that over 5700 weapons were confiscated at airport security checkpoints in 2021, the greatest number ever in a single year.
It implies that roughly 16 firearms are discovered at security checks every day, with about 85% of them loaded. In 2019, the previous yearly high was 4,400.
Passengers caught carrying guns at checkpoints face fines of up to $13,910 in fines. Fines for repeat violators might be substantially greater.
Local law enforcement may confiscate weapons at checkpoints and arrest anyone in possession of a firearm in some situations.
The airports in Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Houston had the most weapons seized.
'It's at an all-time high,' TSA Administrator David Pekoske said at a Monday press conference. 'What is the reason? I believe there are just more firearms in the country. 'I'll give you the best response I can,' he responded.
Passengers on planes are allowed to bring an unloaded handgun on board, but only in checked luggage.
'It's a pretty costly mistake to make,' Pekoske said noting that the TSA will 'always proceed with a civil penalty action that will cost thousands of dollars after we complete an investigation'.
The TSA will also refers the issue to law enforcement if local or state laws are broken.
'We see a strengthening in the airline travel industry toward pre-pandemic levels and our goal is to ensure you as the passenger have a safe and secure flight,' Pekoske noted.
We work hard with our airport and airline partners to achieve this by ensuring screening operations meet the upcoming demand. I also want to thank our Transportation Security Officers across the country who, each and every day, meet the travel volume demand and help keep airport screening lanes moving to ensure millions of passengers arrive at their destinations safely.'An unintentional gunfire at an Atlanta International Airport security checkpoint generated havoc in November.
During screening, a TSA officer noticed a pistol, and the passenger dived inside the bag to get it, which resulted in the gun firing.
Air travel into Atlanta was suspended as the Atlanta Police Department investigated.
TOP TEN AIRPORTS FOR FIREARM STOPS
- Dallas Fort Worth
- Fort Lauderdale
- New Orleans
- Salt Lake City