Local News

TSA: Last year set record for guns at US airports

Posted January 23, 2015

— Officials with the Transportation Security Administration said Friday that 2014 set a record for the number of firearms confiscated at airports across the country.

Federal authorities said 2,212 weapons were found in carry-on bags at checkpoints, a 22 percent increase from 2013. Of the weapons found, 83 percent of them were loaded.

The top number of weapons seizures happened at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, where 120 guns were confiscated. The nation’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, ranked second with 109 confiscated weapons.

Charlotte-Douglas International Airport ranked No. 12 with 43 firearms, and Raleigh-Durham International Airport ranked 24th with 29 guns, officials said.

In a blogpost, TSA officials recapped some of the highlights from 2014, including a 94-year-old man who was stopped at a LaGuardia Airport checkpoint in New York with a loaded .38-caliber revolver clipped to his belt and another passenger at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport who had a 380-caliber firearm strapped to his ankle.

Guns weren’t the only items seized by security officers in 2014. TSA officials also found a number of dangerous devices, ranging from live grenades and stun guns to gun powder and artillery shells.

“Officers also find inert items that appear very realistic,” officials wrote in the blog. “The problem with these types of items is that we don’t know if they are real, toys or replicas until TSA explosives experts are called upon. Inert items can lead to disruption, closed terminals and checkpoints, which often result in canceled or delayed flights.”

Passengers also tried to smuggle a variety of concealed contraband in 2014.

Officials said they found a saw blade in a Bible, a pocket knife in a potato chip bag, an 8-inch knife inside an enchilada, a knife disguised as lipstick, two small-caliber bullets sewn into a shirt cuff, a razorblade in a cellphone and hundreds of pounds of narcotics hidden in everything from a package of raw meat to the hollowed-out pages of a textbook.

“Keep in mind that far more was discovered than those listed in this report,” TSA officials said in the blog. “When bags searches are needed, the line slows down.”


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  • James Barefoot Jan 25, 2015
    user avatar

    Well Well , TSA has started doing their job, And those 2 airports see a lot of people, Whats the percent of passengers

  • NotLiberal Jan 23, 2015

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    There is no need to speak to a person who will not hear.

  • NotLiberal Jan 23, 2015

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    Its done every day. Just go into a court house in NC that has a metal detector. Its illegal, morally wrong and probably close to larceny, but it still goes on because no one has the money to challenge the illegal seizure for a usually small value item.

  • Dnut Jan 23, 2015

    hourglas Jan 23, 4:03 p.m.
    As a former TSA officer, most are average people who forgot they had the gun with them. Most are concealed carry permitted and are just used to having the gun with them.
    I too am a concealed carry person, but I think I know where my gun is at all times.
    Shame they forgot, but now they have to forfiet their gun.>>>I'm sorry, did I miss something? Why do they have to "FORFIET" there firearms? I was under the impression, they can either have it stored and pick up later or leave and miss there flight. Since when does TSA just take a firearm, because you forgot it was on you? That's not in there authority to just "TAKE" the weapon and not have a way of recovring it, or the loss!

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 23, 2015

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    yep not one.

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 23, 2015

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    Because the Constitution is limited to walking on the ground just on dirt paths? Don't think so. Shall not be infringed....

  • NotLiberal Jan 23, 2015

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    For one thing I would not advocate banning water or swimming pools or lakes or the ocean as anti gun people would and do.

  • MrX-- Jan 23, 2015

    More than 650 million people fly per year so guns are extremely rare to be found on someone trying to board.

  • Brian Jenkins Jan 23, 2015

    But how many terrorists did they catch? Oh yea, none....ever.

  • NotLiberal Jan 23, 2015

    View quoted thread

    Would you make the same comparison if the child died from: drowning, a fire, a car wreck, a fall, alcohol poisoning, drug abuse, (well you get the idea) ?