Denver International Airport ranked sixth nationally in 2021 for the number of firearms seized by TSA agents at security checkpoints, the Transportation Security Administration announced Tuesday.
In 2021, agents found 141 firearms in travelers carry-on luggage, more than any year since 2018, according to TSA data. Nationally, 5,972 guns were seized at airport security checkpoints. The 141 guns seized set a new record at the Denver airport, the TSA said in a news release.
“As the data suggests, travelers bringing firearms in carry-on luggage is not new and we have now reached an unacceptable level of carelessness by gun owners. Simply stated, one gun in carry-on luggage is one too many,” TSA Federal Security Director for Colorado Larry Nau said in a news release.
Still, the percentage of passengers trying to bring guns onto airplanes is small.
Security agents at DIA screened approximately 18.3 million departing passengers and crew in 2021, making it the sixth busiest airport for TSA security checkpoint screening operations. That is a 72% increase in passenger traffic over 2020, a year where air travel was marred by the coronavirus pandemic.
The airports with the most firearms seized at security in 2021 are:
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport , 507
- Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, 317
- Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, 245
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, 196
- Nashville International Airport, 163.
Travelers caught with firearms at an airport security checkpoint face criminal and civil penalties. Even those with concealed carry permits must check their unloaded weapons in a hard-sided case.
For more information on carrying firearms on an airplane, visit https://www.tsa.gov/travel/transporting-firearms-and-ammunition.
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