AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Transportation Safety Administration reported that despite screening 500 million fewer passengers in 2020, the agency caught a rate of twice as many firearms at security checkpoints in airports across the country as it did in 2019.
In 2020, the TSA says they caught 10 firearms per 1 million passengers screened despite the big dip in passenger traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, agents caught five firearms per 1 million passengers screened.
The 2020 rate is the highest in the agency’s 19-year history.
Two of the top five airports with the most firearm discoveries in 2020 are in Texas. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport came in at No. 2 on TSA’s list with 176 confiscated firearms, and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport had 126, landing at No. 3 on the chart.
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport had the most confiscations with 220. Here’s the top 10 chart provided by the TSA:
|1||Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)||220|
|2||Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)||176|
|3||Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)||126|
|4||Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)||124|
|5||Denver International Airport (DEN)||104|
|6||Nashville International Airport (BNA)||94|
|7||Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)||87|
|8||Orlando International Airport (MCO)||79|
|9||Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS)||72|
|10||Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)||71|
The totals account for guns confiscated in carry-on baggage at security checkpoints, the TSA said in a press release. Passengers are allowed to travel with firearms if they are properly checked in, declared and in checked luggage, but travelers should be aware of firearm laws in places they’re traveling to.