TSA seized record number of guns at U.S. airports in 2023

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The Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday it seized more than 6,700 guns at airport security checkpoints nationwide in 2023, a record.. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 10 (UPI) — The Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday it seized more than 6,700 guns at airport security checkpoints nationwide in 2023, a record. The agency said some of the total 6,737 firearms had bullets in them. Advertisement
The previous record for gun seizures at airports, 6,542, came the year before, the TSA said.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske said he was particularly concerned about the number of loaded guns, which pose “an unnecessary risk to everyone at the TSA checkpoint.”
“Firearms and ammunition are strictly prohibited in carry-on baggage. Passengers are only allowed to travel with an unloaded firearm, and only if they pack it properly in a locked, hard-sided case in their checked baggage and first declare it to the airline at the check-in counter,” he said in a news release.
The TSA screened more than 858 million airline passengers in 2023, which translates to 7.8 firearms per million passengers.
In New York on Wednesday, a New York man was stopped at Elmira Corning Regional Airport with a loaded 9mm gun, including one bullet in the chamber.
He told officials that he was a firearms instructor and said he had forgotten he was carrying the gun.
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Police allowed him to depart the airport to return the gun to his home because he had a valid New York State pistol permit.
As guns are not permitted through the security checkpoint, the man faces a financial civil penalty up to $15,000 from TSA.
In the first two weeks of 2024, the TSA has reported gun-related incidents at Frederick Douglass Rochester International Airport in Virginia, New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va.
In addition to any action taken by law enforcement, the TSA revokes a person’s PreCheck eligibility for at least five years and may conduct enhanced screening to ensure no other threats present are present.

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