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TSA to seize record number of guns in 2022

Transportation Security Administration officers have confiscated 6,301 firearms from airport travelers so far in 2022 — the largest number recorded since the agency’s inception. The agency announced Friday that 88% of those guns taken at airport security checkpoints were loaded.

The TSA said it expected to seize about 6,600 firearms by the end of the year, which would mark an increase of 10.5% from 5,972 firearms. Foreclosed on in 2021Which was also a record.

The agency also revealed Friday that it is increasing the maximum civil penalty for firearms violations from $13,910 to $14,950.

According to the TSA, the top 5 airports for firearms so far this year were:

  1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – 438
  2. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport – 371
  3. Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport – 286
  4. Nashville International Airport – 203
  5. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport – 184

According to a TSA spokesperson, Nashville had the highest rate of firearm seizure per capita.

in April, Representative Madison Cawthorne was cited for attempting to bring a gun through security at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, according to local police. Police said Cawthorne acknowledged the firearm was his and cooperated with officers. He was issued a citation for possession of a dangerous weapon on city property.

According to TSA policy, individuals carrying loaded firearms – or unloaded firearms with accessible ammunition – can face fines starting at $3,000 as well as a criminal referral to law enforcement. Those with “aggravating circumstances”, including a history of carrying loaded weapons at security checkpoints, could be forced to pay the maximum fine.

TSA will take civil penalty action only after completing the investigation. If travelers violate state laws, TSA refers matters to local authorities.

The TSA also revokes its PreCheck eligibility for at least five years for travelers caught with a firearm, and regularly conducts “enhanced screening” for those travelers to ensure that no other The threat doesn’t exist.

Passengers who wish to transport firearms are instructed to follow proper packing guidelines for firearms in checked baggage and to declare the same to their airline upon check-in.

“I commend the work of our transportation security officers, who do an excellent job of preventing firearms from being brought into the secure area of ​​airports and aboard aircraft,” TSA Administrator David Pecoske said in a statement Friday. “Firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags at checkpoints and onboard aircraft. When a passenger brings a firearm to a checkpoint, it consumes significant security resources and has the potential for transportation security in addition to being very costly to the passenger.” poses a threat.”

Although travel numbers have not risen to pre-pandemic levels, the TSA screened more than 2.5 million individuals nationwide on Nov. 27, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, marking the highest checkpoint volume since the start of the pandemic. .

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