Year of the gun: Record year for firearms seizures at US airports

  • Top 10 airports for firearms discoveries:
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): 198
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW): 192
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport – Houston (IAH): 128
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX): 101
  • Denver International (DEN): 98
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO): 86
  • Nashville International (BNA): 80
  • Tampa International (TPA): 79
  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS): 78
  • Salt Lake City International (SLC): 75

America’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered a record number of firearms at US airports last year.

The TSA’s annual report for 2016 comes just days after the deadly attack at Fort Lauderdale Airport, involving a gun that was in checked luggage. The TSA rules allow passengers to travel with firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline.

TSA year in review 2016

TSA year in review 2016

In 2016, TSA officers screened 738,318,264 passengers (more than 2 million per day), which is more than 43,255,172 more passengers than for the same timeframe in 2015. In addition to screening more than 738 million passengers, TSA officers also screened 466 million checked bags and 24.2 million airport employees.

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A total of 3,391 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the US, averaging more than nine firearms per day. Of those, 2,815 (83pc) were loaded. Firearms were intercepted at a total of 238 airports; two more airports than last year. The TSA stats show a 28pc increase in firearm discoveries from 2015’s total of 2,653.

The TSA said many people who were found with guns, ammunition, knives and other prohibited items had brought them unknowingly. Full images of what’s been discovered can be found here on the TSA blog.


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