Travel Tips

Travel Tip: TSA Seized Record Number of Firearms in 2015

Locations in this article:  Atlanta, GA Dallas, TX Denver, CO Houston, TX Phoenix, AZ

tsaEvery year, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) releases the number of prohibited items it has seized at security checkpoints at U.S. airports.

This year, they’ve set a record: they intercepted 2,653 firearms in carry-on bags. That’s about a 20 percent increase compared to 2014.

Keep in mind, the number of travelers has increased as well. In 2015, there were 708 million travelers who went through security, which is 40.7 million more than in 2014.

Which airports saw the most firearms? The top five airports were:

  • Dallas/Fort Worth International: 153
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International: 144
  • George Bush Intercontinental at Houston: 100
  • Denver International Airport: 90
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport: 73

Those were also the top five airports in 2014.

But here’s a disturbing fact: of the firearms seized, nearly 83 percent were loaded.

Of course, these were just the guns that were seized. There were also swords, sabres, and, last not least, my favorite—chainsaws.

Don’t believe me? Check out their Instagram account. It’s full of prohibited items that were seized at checkpoints.

On the surface, the TSA should be congratulated for the weapons seizures, but considering a recent internal investigation by the TSA revealed a failure rate to detect such items at around 96 percent, one can only wonder what prohibited things the TSA didn’t intercept.

And in the meantime, confusion among other possibly prohibited items remains.

In the meantime, I’m concerned that at many checkpoints, the TSA still considers a peanut butter and jelly sandwich a prohibited liquid.

So if you’re packing for your next trip, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t pack loaded weapons in your carry-on.

And while you’re at it, please leave your chainsaw and PB&J at home.

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