Skip to Content

TSA finds a record number of guns at airport checkpoints – 93% of them loaded


By Gregory Wallace, Pete Muntean and Holly Yan, CNN

(CNN) — For the third year in a row, a record number of airline passengers’ guns were intercepted by airport security officers before those weapons could make it aboard a flight.

Airport security officers prevented passengers from carrying more than 6,700 prohibited guns onto airplanes in 2023, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

The TSA said 93% of the 6,737 firearms found by its security officers at checkpoints were loaded.

The previous record for intercepted firearms at airports was set in 2022, with 6,542 firearms stopped at checkpoints, a number that surpassed the previous record in 2021.

Last year, TSA screened more than 858 million people, which indicates the agency intercepted 7.8 firearms per million passengers – a drop from 8.6 per million passengers in 2022, the agency said.

“We are still seeing far too many firearms at TSA checkpoints, and what’s particularly concerning is the amount of them loaded, presenting an unnecessary risk to everyone at the TSA checkpoint,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said Wednesday in a news release.

“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.”

When a firearm is detected at a security checkpoint, officers immediately contact local law enforcement, who remove the passenger and the firearm from the checkpoint area, the TSA said. Depending on local laws, a law enforcement officer could arrest or cite the passenger. TSA does not confiscate firearms.

TSA warns passengers who bring a gun to a checkpoint face a fine of up to $15,000, ineligibility for the PreCheck expedited screening program and potential criminal charges.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - National

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo



KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content