WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The Transportation Security Administration says officers caught more firearms at checkpoints nationwide in 2019 than ever before in the agency’s 18-year history.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport had the second most guns discovered on passengers or in their carry-on bags last year with 217.
Dallas Love Field had the sixth most with 103.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International was ranked first with 323 firearms found.
At 278 airports nationwide, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags or on passengers at checkpoints across the country last year, averaging about 12.1 firearms per day, approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018. Eighty-seven percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded, the TSA said Wednesday.
“The continued increase in the number of firearms that travelers bring to airport checkpoints is deeply troubling,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “There is a proper way to travel safely with a firearm. First and foremost, it should be unloaded. Then it should be packed in a hard-sided locked case, taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared, and checked.”
The TSA reminds travelers, those who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties.
Even if a traveler has a concealed weapon permit, firearms are not permitted to be carried onto an airplane. However, travelers with proper firearm permits can travel legally with their firearms in their checked bags if they follow the guidelines to transport firearms and ammunition safely.
Here is the list of the top 10 airports for the most firearm discoveries in 2019:
1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): 323 – an increase of 25 firearms compared to 2018
2. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW): 217
3. Denver International Airport (DEN): 140
4. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH): 138
5. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX): 132
6. Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL): 103
7. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL): 100
8. Nashville International Airport (BNA): 97
9. Orlando International Airport (MCO): 96
10. Tampa International Airport (TPA): 87