ATLANTA, GA (WGCL) — Atlanta topped the list for the most firearms found at airport security checkpoints last year, according to a 2020 gun statistics report released by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
TSA officers discovered 220 firearms at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in 2020, ranking Atlanta number one on the list of firearm catches at airport security checkpoints across the country. The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport came in second with 176 firearms discovered.
The data shows a considerable spike in the number of guns found at airport security checkpoints. TSA officers detected twice as many firearms per million passengers screened nationwide in 2020 compared to 2019, and at a significantly higher rate than any other year since the agency’s inception.
TSA officers discovered a total of 3,257 firearms on passengers or in their carry-on bags at checkpoints. It comes as total passengers screened in 2020 fell by 500 million versus 2019 due to the pandemic. Of those firearms caught in 2020, TSA says about 83 percent were loaded. In 2019, TSA officers stopped a record 4,432 firearms, of which 87 percent were loaded.
“I commend our officers for their commitment to TSA’s security mission by identifying and stopping these weapons at the TSA checkpoints. Firearms are strictly prohibited on board planes in the passenger cabin,” Senior Official Performing the Duties of TSA Administrator Darby LaJoye said. “Bringing a firearm to a TSA security checkpoint poses a serious risk to TSA officer and passenger safety and doing so may result in significant fines or arrest.”
Passengers with firearms at checkpoints were stopped at 234 airports nationwide. Here are the top ten airports where TSA officers detected guns at checkpoints in 2020:
1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (220)
2. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (176)
3. Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (126)
4. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (124)
5. Denver International Airport (104)
6. Nashville International Airport (94)
7. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (87)
8. Orlando International Airport (79)
9. Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (72)
10. Salt Lake City International Airport (71)
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