In its “TSA Year in Review” report, the agency found a “record-setting” number of firearms in carry-on bags. Nearly 4,000 firearms for the year, 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 found 660. But that could well be due to better searches, rather than fewer people carrying.
The TSA revealed 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.
Top 10 Airports For Firearms Seizures
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 Flashbang is Never a Good Carry On
A passenger had 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 are a bad idea. They close entire terminals and checkpoints.
The TSA found nearly 200 prohibited items that 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.
A replica of a suicide vest was 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. I mean, seriously? What are you doing with these things?