- The TSA caught 6,542 guns in carry-on bags last year.
- Six airports in Texas and Florida contributed to the top 10 airports with firearm incidents.
- The TSA attributed the rise to gun owners forgetting that they had a gun with them when traveling.
The Transportation Security Administration caught the most guns ever at American airport checkpoints in 2022, with airports in Texas and Georgia raking up the most incidents.
The TSA said that it found 6,542 guns in carry-on bags at 262 airports — equivalent to 18 per day — in 2022, an increase from 5,972 in 2021. The TSA attributed the uptick in caught guns from increases in Americans owning and traveling with guns. Most of the travelers with guns at airports claim that they forgot they had a gun with them, reports AP News.
“What we see in our checkpoints really reflects what we’re seeing in society, and in society there are more people carrying firearms nowadays,” TSA administrator David Pekoske told the AP.
Eighty-eight percent of the guns caught last year were loaded, according to a graphic released by the TSA.
The top 5 airports with firearm incidents in 2022 were:
- 1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport: 448 firearms
- 2. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport: 385 firearms
- 3. George Bush Intercontinental Airport: 298 firearms
- 4. Nashville International Airport: 213 firearms
- 5. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport: 196 firearms
Two states contributed to six of the top 10 airports with firearm incidents last year. Three airports in Texas (Dallas, Houston, and Austin) collectively reported 833 cases in 2022. Another 427 cases were reported by three airports in Florida (Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa).
Each airport handles gun confiscations differently based on local and state laws. But federal fines from the TSA can be as much as $14,950. Passengers also lose their PreCheck status if a gun is found.