TSA officers intercepted 2,653 firearms in carry-on bags at airport security checkpoints across the U.S. last year while screening a total of 700 million passengers, the agency says, in a nearly 20% increase from the previous record-setting year. Of those, 2,198 (82.8%) were loaded. In 2014, TSA officers founds 2,212 guns in carry-on bags.
Firearms were discovered at 236 airports, 12 more than last year. The airports with the most firearm discoveries in 2015 were:
• Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport: 153
• Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport: 144
• Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport: 100
• Denver International Airport: 90
• Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport: 73
The agency attributes the number of guns discovered to the intervention of its officers.
“The transport of firearms by commercial air in carry-on bags represents a threat to the safety and security of air travelers. Through increased training in detection methods, our officers are becoming more adept at intercepting these prohibited items,” said TSA Administrator Peter V. Neffenger in a press release. “I am proud of the men and women who serve in the TSA and grateful for their hard work in the past year.”
Weapons are prohibited in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags — if they’re unloaded, properly packed, and declared to the airline.