TSA Found a Record 3,957 Firearms at Checkpoints in 2017

Jan 30, 2018

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The Transportation Security Administration found, on average, more than 10 firearms per day at checkpoints around the country last year. The TSA released its 2017 findings, with the highlight (lowlight?) being that agents found 3,957 guns at airport checkpoints — a 17% increase from 2016’s total of 3,391.

Perhaps most shocking was the fact that the majority of the guns confiscated by TSA agents were loaded. Based on TSA data, these are the 10 airports where the most guns were found:

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) — 245 guns found (222 loaded)
2. Dallas-Fort Worth International (DFW) — 211 guns found (165 loaded)
3. George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) — 142 guns found (124 loaded)
4. Denver International (DEN) — 118 guns found (102 loaded)
5. Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX) — 115 guns found (109 loaded)
6. Tampa International (TPA) — 97 guns found (90 loaded)
7. Orlando International (MCO) — 94 guns found (82 loaded)
8. Dallas Love Field (DAL) — 93 guns found (81 loaded)
9. Nashville International (BNA) — 89 guns found (71 loaded)
10. Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA) — 75 guns found (60 loaded)

The TSA attributed the rise in the number of guns confiscated due to the rise in the number of passengers going through the security checkpoint as opposed to a terror threat. At more than 440 airports, agents screened 771.5 million passengers in 2017 — that’s up from 738.3 million travelers in 2016.

This isn’t anything new, though. In the past decade, the number of firearms confiscated by TSA agents has steadily increased. And firearms aren’t the only thing the TSA uncovers — it does find other quirky items. While the agency has caught a large number of firearms over the last decade, it recently has taken a lot of heat for failing to detect more than 94% of threats in 2017.

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