Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

TSA: 11 firearms a day confiscated at US airports in 2018

TSA: 11 firearms a day confiscated at US airports in 2018

TSA agents confiscated a record-setting 4,239 firearms from passengers' carry-on bags at security checkpoints across the country.

The release said passengers can "travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition".

New England airports saw a surge a year ago in the number of guns seized at checkpoints, according to data released Thursday by the Transportation Security Administration. "Even if a traveler has a concealed weapon permit, firearms are not permitted to be carried onto an airplane", the release said.

The 2018 firearms discoveries amount to 81.6 guns per week trying to get through security, or 11.6 firearms per day. Of those, 253 were loaded.

That 2018 tally included 21 guns at Logan International Airport, nine at Bradley International Airport in CT, four at T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island, four at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, four at Portland International Jetport, two at Burlington International Airport, and one at Worcester Regional Airport, according to the release.

A total of almost 814 million passengers and crew members passed through TSA screening in 2018, which is a 5.5 percent increase over 2017.

'When you are going through a TSA screen checkpoint, you know you're there.


The total number of firearms discovered at airport checkpoints has more than quadrupled over the last decade, climbing consistently year-over-year.

Just under 4,000 guns were seized across 239 airports in 2017, a 16 percent increase from the year before.

While firearm possession laws vary by state, the TSA can impose civil penalties of up to $13,333 per violation per person.

Our investigation found that, in the vast majority of cases in 2017, it was men, and 63 percent were white. But guns were also found in the luggage of an 84-year-old woman, a 10-year-old boy, a pastor, and an airport worker.

CBS reviewed police records from seven airports in 2017 and found at least three cases where guns appeared to have gotten through security.

Guns weren't the only prohibited items discovered at checkpoints a year ago. "We do everything we can to figure out why it happened".

The TSA urged anyone who is unsure of what items are permissible to visit the agency's website or reach out on social media.

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