The three airports with the most firearms found in 2021 remained the same in 2022.
WASHINGTON. On Tuesday, agency officials confiscated a record number of weapons at airport checkpoints in 2022.
The Transportation Security Administration said they found 6,542 firearms during the year, up 570 from what was previously a record year 2021.
The TSA already knew it was going to be a record year before 2022 was even over. By December 16, the agency had already confiscated a record 6,301 firearms from passengers or in their hand luggage, breaking the 2021 record. Over the past 15 days of the year, 241 more guns were found among the luggage of vacationers.
The agency reported that 88% of the confiscated weapons at that time were loaded.
All these cannons can cost travelers dearly. In December, the TSA raised fines for carrying guns through airport security due to an increase through 2022.
Previously, an unloaded weapon carried a $1,500 to $2,475 fine and criminal charges, while a loaded weapon found at airport security could result in a $3,000 to $10,000 fine.
For the 241 guns found in the last two weeks of the year, the maximum fine for a loaded gun could be up to $14,950. According to the agency’s website, repeat offenders can face even greater fines.
Federal law prohibits passengers, other than certain law enforcement officers, from carrying weapons or ammunition into the cabin of an aircraft, although the law allows passengers to put weapons in registered bags that go into the cargo hold if they are unloaded and in a locked box.
Airlines are not required to allow guns to be carried even in checked bags. All major U.S. air carriers temporarily banned guns in checked bags on flights to Washington, D.C. airports for a week following the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
The three airports where the most firearms were found in 2022 were the same as the top three in 2021. Fourth place went to Nashville International Airport, which overtook Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which was ranked 4th in 2021.
While Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has retained its top spot on the TSA list since 2019, fewer weapons were found there in 2022 compared to 2021.
And two airports have been replaced on the list: New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport and Salt Lake City International Airport. Instead, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and Tampa International Airport took their places.
Which airports had the most weapons confiscated in 2022?
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) – 448
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) – 385
- Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) – 298
- Nashville International Airport (BNA) – 213
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) – 196
- Orlando International Airport (MCO) – 162
- Denver International Airport (DEN) – 156
- Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) – 150
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) – 134
- Tampa International Airport (TPA) – 131