United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers intercepted a record number of firearms brought by passengers to airport security checkpoints in 2022.

As of 16 December, TSA has stopped 6,301 firearms; more than 88 per cent were loaded. This number surpasses the previous record of 5,972 firearms detected in 2021.

TSA anticipates it will prevent about 6,600 firearms in carry-on bags from entering the secure area of airports by the end of 2022, a nearly 10 per cent increase over 2021’s record level.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and local government, but firearms are never allowed in carry-on bags at any TSA security checkpoint, even if a passenger has a concealed weapon permit.

Increased penalties

In order to reduce the threat of firearms at checkpoints, TSA has increased the maximum civil penalty for a firearms violation to $14,950.

“I applaud the work of our transportation security officers who do an excellent job of preventing firearms from getting into the secure area of airports, and onboard aircraft,” said TSA administrator David Pekoske.

“Firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags at the checkpoint and onboard aircraft.

“When a passenger brings a firearm to the checkpoint, this consumes significant security resources and poses a potential threat to transportation security, in addition to being very costly for the passenger.”
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