Virginia airports see decrease in seized guns - going against national trend

Photo courtesy: TSA
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WASHINGTON, D.C (WWBT) — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped 74 handguns at Virginia airport checkpoints in 2019, which was a decrease from the 82 handguns that were seized in 2018.

Nationally, TSA officers seized more firearms at checkpoints nationwide in 2019 than ever before in the agency’s 18-year history.

A total of 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags or on passengers at checkpoints across the country last year, averaging about 12.1 firearms per day, approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018.

Eighty-seven percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded.

Firearms were caught at 278 airport checkpoints nationwide.

The top five airports in 2019 where TSA officers detected guns at checkpoints in 2019 were: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Dallas/Fort Worth International, Denver International, George Bush Houston Intercontinental and Phoenix Sky Harbor International.

Firearms are not permitted to be carried onto a plane, even if a traveler has a concealed weapon permit.

Travelers with proper firearm permits can travel legally with their firearms in their checked bags if they follow simple guidelines.

As a reminder, individuals who bring weapons to a checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100. The complete list of penalties is posted online here.