KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Despite falling in the mid-range of U.S. airports in terms of size and traffic, KCI ranked 8th nationally in the number of guns seized by TSA agents, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis .
So far in 2014, 23 guns have been discovered in bags or on passengers passing through KCI; that's more than at Lambert St. Louis International, Seattle-Tacoma International or Chicago's O'Hare.
Airport and TSA officials could provide no definitive explanation as to why more guns passed through KCI, but they suggested the Midwest's generally permissive attitude toward guns probably lead to more people packing their weapons on accident or simply forgetting about them.
A federal law enforcement source said the majority of weapons brought to airports were simply accidents- albeit expensive ones. Fines can reach $10,000.
The TSA keeps a blog, updated regularly , that counts the guns seized each week and notes bizarre or interesting weapons brought to airports including samurai swords in Boston and throwing stars in Orlando.
At KCI on Friday night, most passengers were understanding of accidents and mistakes, and many were surprised to find KCI so high on the TSA's list.
"I think KCI is a really small airport when you consider all the airports in the United States," said flier Linda Clemons, who splits her time between Kansas City and Dallas. "That's... Unbelievable."