by Mark Albert
Composite image courtesy TSA
WASHINGTON (TVR) – The Transportation Security Administration found and seized a record number of firearms in passengers’ luggage in 2017, the agency said.
The TSA announced it confiscated 3,957 firearms from carry-on bags at checkpoints at 239 airports across the United States last year, an average of nearly 11 each day.
The vast majority of the guns—84%—were loaded at the time, according to TSA figures, with 34.8%—nearly one in three—having a round in the chamber.
“Many people who have brought guns, ammunition, knives and other prohibited item say that they did so unknowingly,” the TSA statement said.
“You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline,” the agency advised.
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The number of firearms seized last year was 16.7% higher than the number found in 2016, the TSA noted.
Despite more stringent screening rules and an expansion of TSA officers and canines, the number of firearms spotted in carry-on luggage has steadily been rising, and is now nearly five times as many as just 10 years ago, when 803 were discovered in 2007, agency data show.
The TSA said in 2017, it found the most firearms in a single month in August at the world’s busiest airport: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), when officers discovered 31—an average of one per day.
The year also set other distinctions involving guns and weapons:
Trying to bring a firearm through TSA security can result in fines up to $13,066, the agency said.
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Here are the top airports in the U.S. for firearms discovered in 2017, according to the TSA:
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