WASHINGTON (WRIC) — There were twice as many firearms caught at airport security checkpoints throughout the U.S. in 2020 compared to 2019, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
According to a Tuesday release, TSA officers detected approximately 10 firearms per million passengers screened in 2020, as compared to about five firearms per million passengers screened in 2019.
TSA saw increases in the number of firearms caught at airport security checkpoints at the statewide level, as well. In Virginia, TSA reports 22 guns were confiscated in 2020, compared to 14 guns confiscated in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
“I commend our officers for their commitment to TSA’s security mission by identifying and stopping these weapons at the TSA checkpoints,” Senior Official Performing the Duties of TSA Administrator Darby LaJoye said. “Firearms are strictly prohibited onboard planes in the passenger cabin. Brining a firearm to a TSA security checkpoint poses a serious risk to TSA officer and passenger safety, and doing so may result in significant fines or arrest.”
Airline passengers can fly with guns in checked baggage if the firearms are properly packed and declared at check-in. However, firearm possession laws very by state and locality.
In Virginia, several passengers were issued summonses in 2020 for trying to bring a gun through security.
The following airports had the most firearm catches by TSA last year:
|1||Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)||220|
|2||Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)||176|
|3||Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)||126|
|4||Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)||124|
|5||Denver International Airport (DEN)||104|
|6||Nashville International Airport (BNA)||94|
|7||Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)||87|
|8||Orlando International Airport (MCO)||79|
|9||Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS)||72|
|10||Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)||71|