KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Transportation Safety Administration said Wednesday it has discovered more firearms at airport security checkpoints so far in 2021 than at any point in the last 20 years.
According to a TSA release, screeners had intercepted nearly 4,500 firearms from passengers so far in 2021. In all of 2019, screeners stopped 4,432 firearms.
“The number of firearms that our TSA officers are stopping at airport checkpoints is alarming,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in the release. “Firearms, particularly loaded firearms, introduce an unnecessary risk at checkpoints, have no place in the passenger cabin of an airplane, and represent a very costly mistake for the passengers who attempt to board a flight with them.”
A TSA spokesperson said as of Oct. 12, 53 firearms had been discovered in carry-on bags at Kansas City International Airport. In all of 2019, airport screeners stopped 67 guns.
Both 2021 and 2019 are significant increases over 2018, when 48 guns were discovered.
30 guns were discovered in 2020, a year that saw a significant decrease in travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Details on how air travelers can travel with firearms are available on TSA’s website.