More than 3,000 guns seized at airport security checkpoints in 2024: TSA

According to the Transportation Security Administration, more than 3,400 guns have been intercepted at airport security checkpoints this year. Most of the weapons were loaded.

The agency also said it has screened more passengers this summer, including a record three million passengers last Sunday.

According to the TSA, a total of 3,269 firearms were intercepted at security checkpoints in the first half of 2024, which ended June 30. Of those weapons, 94 percent were loaded.

The number of firearms seized during this period was similar to the total last year at this time – which was 3,251 – but the number of passengers has increased this year.

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The Transportation Security Administration said it has intercepted more than 3,400 guns at airport security checkpoints this year. Most of the weapons were loaded. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Agents screened nearly 7% more passengers in the first half of 2024 than in the same period last year, the TSA said. More than 236 million passengers were screened in the second quarter of 2024, up from more than 221 million passengers screened in the second quarter of last year.

So far in 2024, TSA agents have recovered an average of 19 firearms per day.

In the first eight days of July, which falls within the third quarter of 2024, agents in the US seized another 166 firearms, bringing the total to 3,435 as of Monday.

According to the agency, 7.5 firearms per million passengers were detected at security checkpoints in the second quarter of 2024. That is a slight decrease from the same period last year, when the detection rate was 7.9 firearms per million passengers.

“During a time of record travel, our officers are working hard to keep our transportation systems safe and the traveling public safe. Anytime they detect a firearm, there is a real safety risk to employees and travelers,” TSA Director David Pekoske said in a statement.

FIREARMS INTERCEPTED AT AIRPORT SECURITY CHECKPOINTS ACROSS THE NATION TO RISE TO RECORD TOTAL IN 2023: TSA

TSA logo

This year, the TSA has seized a total of 3,435 firearms through Monday. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“If you are carrying a firearm, you must put it unloaded and locked in a hard case in your checked baggage and declare it to the airline when you check in at the airline counter,” he continued. “Do not bring it to the checkpoint. It is expensive and it will delay you and anyone else traveling in the same row with you.”

The TSA said passengers are allowed to travel with a firearm, but it must be in checked baggage, unloaded and locked in a hard-shell case. The passenger must also notify the airline when checking the bag at the airline counter.

Firearms are prohibited at security checkpoints, in secure areas of airports and in the cabin of aircraft, regardless of whether a passenger is licensed to carry a weapon or is in an area where it is legally permitted to do so.

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent works at an airport

TSA officers have recovered an average of 19 firearms per day so far in 2024. (Reuters)

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The agency urges international travelers to be aware of gun laws in their destination, as traveling with firearms in the region may be prohibited and could result in criminal penalties.

The TSA noted that it does not confiscate firearms. If a passenger brings a firearm to the security checkpoint, either on their person or in their carry-on bag, an officer will contact law enforcement to unload the weapon and take possession of it.

Police can also arrest or fine the passenger, and the TSA can fine passengers who bring a weapon to a security checkpoint up to $15,000.

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