WASHINGTON D.C. — More guns have been stopped at TSA security checkpoints this year than any before, and there are still two months left in 2021.
Transportation Security Administration officials say a 20-year record was set for the number of guns stopped in passenger carry-on bags.
As of October 3, TSA officers stopped 4,495 airline passengers from bringing guns onto planes. The previous record was 4,432 firearms caught at checkpoints for all of 2019.
"TSA officers discovered 11 firearms in carry-on bags at airport checkpoints per million passengers screened so far in 2021. This compares to 5 firearms per million passengers in 2019."- TSA
“The number of firearms that our TSA officers are stopping at airport checkpoints is alarming,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “Firearms, particularly loaded firearms, introduce an unnecessary risk at checkpoints, have no place in the passenger cabin of an airplane, and represent a very costly mistake for the passengers who attempt to board a flight with them.”
Passengers can follow proper packing guidance for firearms [lnks.gd] in checked baggage and declare them to their airline at check-in. TSA advises that travelers know state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure to ensure they transport firearms in accordance with applicable law. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition, so travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies prior to arriving at the airport.
TSA can issue steep fines when passengers bring firearms to airport checkpoints based on previous offenses and if the firearm was loaded.
See the complete list of penalties.
Passengers can bring guns in checked baggage when they are unloaded and packed in a locked, hard-sided case. The passenger must declare and present the case with the firearm at the airline check-in counter and inform the airline representative of their intention to travel with the firearms. Firearms are transported with checked baggage and are placed in the cargo hold of the aircraft.
Visit the TSA website for details on how to properly travel with a firearm.