In 2021, about 5,700 firearms were confiscated at airport security checkpoints. This is the highest number ever recorded since the inauguration of the TSA.
5,674 guns were fired in 2021 alone, the agency told CBS News on Monday. Most of the weapons (85%) were loaded with ammunition. The Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston airports ranked highest among confiscated firearms.
“It’s the best ever,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske told reporters at a briefing on Monday. He said the previous highest point was 4,400 guns seized in 2019.
Pekosuke told CBS News that he believes the increase in firearms attacks “reflects what is happening in the country”.
“Why? I think there are more firearms in the country,” Pekoske said. “That’s the best answer I can give you,” said the administrator.
Per TSA policy, individuals carrying loaded firearms or loaded firearms with accessible ammunition may face criminal referral to law enforcement agencies in addition to fines of $3,000 to $10,000. .. If you commit repeatedly, the fee will be even higher. Anyone who has ever brought an onboard weapon to a security checkpoint could pay as much as $13,910.
“This is a very costly mistake,” Pekoske said, adding that the TSA would only allow civil penalties after completing the investigation. If a traveler violates state law, the TSA will refer the matter to the local government.
Last week, a 48-year-old Georgia man appeared in federal court in Newark, New Jersey on suspicion of weapons, after trying to bring a firearm through security guards at Newark Liberty International Airport. Deputy U.S. Attorney Rachel Honig has announced that Desmond Herring has been charged by a serious felon with bringing a weapon on board a plane and possessing firearms and ammunition.
Herring was released on $100,000 bond with house arrest and GPS surveillance.
In November, a disturbance occurred at a major security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, when a firearm was fired during a TSA screening. Officials said the passengers, who were told not to touch the bag during the search, “pushed into the bag, grabbed the gun, and then opened fire.”
The TSA also announced Monday that it expects traffic to peak on December 23 and January 3 this year, before and after the holidays.
In line with pre-pandemic travel levels, officials screened only 21 million travelers during the 10-day Thanksgiving holiday.
According to the TSA, the top 10 airports for shotgun stops are:
- Dallas Fort Worth
- Houston (IAH)
- Lauderdale Fort
- new Orleans
- salt Lake City
Katherine Krupnik contributed to this report.