TSA found 3,257 firearms in carry-on bags in 2020

Travel was way down in 2020. But that didn’t stop those who were getting on airplanes from having firearms in their carry-on bags.

In a report released today, TSA says its officers found 3,257 firearms on passengers or in their carry-on bags at checkpoints. Of those firearms caught, about 83 percent were loaded.

In 2019, TSA officers stopped a record 4,432 firearms, of which 87 percent were loaded.

Firearems were found at 234 airports.

Here are Top 10 Airports where TSA found firearms at the checkpoints

AIRPORT (CODE)TOTAL
1Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)220
2Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)176
3Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)126
4Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)124
5Denver International Airport (DEN)104
6Nashville International Airport (BNA)94
7Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)87
8Orlando International Airport (MCO)79
9Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS)72
10Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)71

While firearms aren’t allowed in carry-on bags (for obvious reasons…) airline passengers may fly with firearms if they are properly packed as checked baggage. There are state and local firearms laws that passengers must be sure to comply with.

What happens if you’re found with a firearm in your carry-on?

In some cities, local police are called over and may file criminal charges.

TSA says it can assess civil penalties that vary by the number of previous offenses and whether the firearm was loaded at the time. Fines can exceed more than $10,000. range.

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