It isn’t uncommon for travelers to try to sneak prohibited items through airport security, from marijuana to snakes and even kittens. In addition to the bizarre and unusual items, people are often caught trying to bring their weapons on board, as well, Fox News reported.
Last year, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered a record number of firearms in carry-on bags at 279 airport checkpoints around the country.
In their Year in Review report, the federal agency announced the staggering 4,239 firearms were discovered. This marks a 7 percent increase from 2017.
The amount averages to be 11.6 firearms per day, with the most discovered during the month of August, when TSA found 32 at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Below are the top 10 airports that led in firearm discoveries in 2018:
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): 298 – an increase of 53 compared to 2017 (253 loaded)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW): 219 (193 loaded)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX): 129 (120 loaded)
- Denver International Airport (DEN): 126 (95 loaded)
- Orlando International Airport (MCO): 123 (112 loaded)
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH): 117 – a decrease of 25 firearms compared to 2017 (115 loaded)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL): 96 (80 loaded)
- Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS): 93 (76 loaded)
- Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL): 89 (83 loaded)
- Nashville International Airport (BNA): 86 (80 loaded)
The report did not indicate how many of those caught with a firearm had a prior criminal record. As a result, it would be interesting to know how many cases were permit weapon holders with their head in the sand (forgetful) versus the criminal element trying to sneak a firearm past TSA screeners.
- AMERICAN IDOL CITED FOR POSSESSING HANDGUN AT AIRPORT
- AIRLINE PILOT ARRESTED AT AIRPORT WITH LOADED FIREARM IN CARRY ON SUITCASE
- TSA AGENT JUMPS TO HIS DEATH AT ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
For instance, four of the top 10 airports listed are in Texas, a state notorious for open carry and concealed weapon permit holders.
TSA also noted that a record number of travelers passed through airports in 2018, with 813.8 million people going through security screening.
The laws regarding firearm possession vary by state. Nevertheless, TSA can impose civil penalties of up to $13,333 per violation for anyone caught trying to bring their weapon or other prohibited items on board an aircraft.