Transportation Security Administration officers confiscated more guns at airport checkpoints in 2019 than ever before in its 18-year history — and nearly all of them were loaded, the agency announced.
According to the agency, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags or on passengers, averaging about 12.1 per day, an approximate 5% increase from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018.
Eighty-seven percent of the confiscated guns were loaded, the agency reported.
"The continued increase in the number of firearms that travelers bring to airport checkpoints is deeply troubling," TSA administrator David Pekoske said in a statement.
"There is a proper way to travel safely with a firearm. First and foremost, it should be unloaded. Then, it should be packed in a hard-sided locked case, taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared, and checked."
The agency said firearms were caught at 278 airport checkpoints nationwide.
The top five airports where TSA officers detected guns were: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International with 323; Dallas/Fort Worth International with 217; Denver International with 140; George Bush Intercontinental with 138; and Phoenix Sky Harbor International with 132.
Those same airports were also on TSA's list for 2018.
Hartsfield-Jackson also set the record for most firearms detained in one month — 34 were found in May 2019, ABC News reported.
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