In its “TSA Year in Review” report, the agency said a “record-setting” number of firearms were found in carry-on bags. With nearly 4,000 firearms for the year, that translates to about 10 firearms a day.
Apparently that’s a 17% increase on 2016, when 3,391 firearms turned up at checkpoints. Back in 2005, they only found 660. But that could well be due to lax searches, rather than fewer people carrying.
The TSA revealed that 2 million travelers go through security checkpoints each and every day on US soil. The agency reckoned 35% of the weapons had a round in the chamber and these are the top 10 airports for firearns serizures in 2017.
Below are the top 10 airports where firearms were found and the number loaded with ammunition.
1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International: 245, 222 loaded.
2. Dallas/Fort Worth International: 211, 165 loaded.
3. George Bush Intercontinental – Houston: 142, 124 loaded.
4. Denver International: 118, 102 loaded.
5. Phoenix Sky Harbor International: 115, 109 loaded.
6. Tampa International: 97, 90 loaded.
7. Orlando International: 94, 82 loaded.
8. Dallas Love Field: 93, 81 loaded.
9. Nashville International: 89, 71 loaded.
10. Seattle-Tacoma International: 75, 60 loaded.
It wasn’t just guns. Passengers also tried to board with numerous other hazardous items.
A passenger was found with a live flashbang grenade in a carry-on bag at the San Diego International Airport. In Raleigh, a live smoke grenade was also found in a carry-on bag.
“Not only do smoke grenades deploy a thick blanket of smoke, they also burn extremely hot and are considered hazmat,” TSA said in a statement.
Even inert grenades can cause terminals and checkpoints to close, meaning delays or canceled flights.
TSA said it found nearly 200 items that are prohibited and were “deliberately hidden in attempts to sneak them through security.” The agency calls this “artful concealment” and warned travelers risk fines or arrest in such cases.
There was a realistic-looking replica of a suicide vest found in a checked bag at an airport in El Paso. A block of inert explosives was discovered in a carry-on bag at an airport in Florida. Hand grenades were confiscated from luggage at airports all over the country.