TSA seized a record breaking number of guns, a total of 6600 at airport security checkpoints in 2022, 88% of them were loaded.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) intercepted a record number of guns at the airport safety checkpoints, from which the majority of the guns were loaded.
TSA revealed in a statement, that its security officers had intercepted 6,301 firearms as of 16 December, the most in the history of the agency’s inception. Out of these firearms, 88% of them were loaded. The numbers concluded that from the year 2021, there was an increase of more than 300 from the 5,972 firearms.
The agency anticipated to prevent 6,600 firearms by the end of 2022 in carry-on bags from entering the secure area of airports, a leap of nearly 10% from 2021.
Other than the exception of 2020, when air travel fell significantly due to the coronavirus pandemic. As per the statistics, the number of firearms intercepted at airports by TSA since 2010 has steadily increased. From the period of 2010 to 2019, the number of firearms detected by TSA at the airport security checkpoints increased from 1,123 to 4,432. In 2020, the number dropped to 3,257 before getting accelerated almost two times again.
According to TSA’s report on cbsnews, the top five airports for firearm stops based on the last published report are, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport , Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Nashville International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
The TSA began tracking firearm discoveries since its creation, for more than 20 years now. Agency has increased a fine of $13,910 to $14,950 in an attempt to reduce the number of guns at airport security checkpoints. TSA further determines the fine amount for a violation based on each case’s circumstances.
For the passengers caught with possessed guns, the agency has stated to revoke their TSA PreCheck eligibility for a duration of five years. It refers to a program that grants selective travellers to expedite screening processes at airports.
TSA plans to enhance screening tests of the passengers carrying firearms to ensure and block any other threats. The agency said, passengers bringing firearms to a security checkpoint can be arrested by law enforcement, based on the local or state law at the airport’s location.
“Significant security resources get consumed when a passenger brings firearms to the security checkpoint. It poses a potential threat to transportation security, and also very costly for the passenger,” said David Pekoske, T.S.A. administrator.
The passengers who are travelling by air and would like to carry their guns along are required to store the weapons in check-in baggage, and must follow proper rules and packing regulations. The regulations include unloading and locking of firearms in a hard-sided container. Travellers who are flying with firearms must leave them in checked luggage, they need to follow guidelines for packing ammunition and guns, and declare them to the airline at the time of check-in.