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TSA Seizes Record Number of Guns at Airport Checkpoints This Year

By Steve Neavling

The TSA seized a record number of guns at airport security checkpoints this year, with three months left in 2021 and fewer passengers traveling due to COVID-19. 

In the first nine months of this year, TSA officers stopped 4,495 passengers who tried to carry firearms through checkpoints, setting a 20-year record. The previous record was 4,432 in 2019. 

A decade ago, 1,320 guns were seized. 

“The number of firearms that our TSA officers are stopping at airport checkpoints is alarming,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement. “Firearms, particularly loaded firearms, introduce an unnecessary risk at checkpoints, have no place in the passenger cabin of an airplane, and represent a very costly mistake for the passengers who attempt to board a flight with them.”

It’s not entirely clear why more travelers are bringing guns to airports. 

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport led the nation in gun seizures at 391 this year, followed by Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with 232 and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston with 168, the agency said.


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