Salt Lake City in top 10 U.S. airports for number of firearms discovered at checkpoints
WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 13, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) – Salt Lake City International Airport ranks in the top 10 U.S. airports for the number of firearms detected at checkpoints this year.
“Transport Security Administration officials spotted a record number of firearms at airport security checkpoints this year and set a 20-year record with three months left in the calendar year and fewer passengers due to the pandemic,” a press release said.
As of October 3 of this year, TSA officials had prevented 4,495 passengers from carrying firearms on their flights, surpassing the previous record of 4,432 firearms caught at checkpoints for the entire 2019 calendar year. TSA officials found 11 firearms in hand luggage at airport screening points per million passengers screened to date in 2021, compared to five firearms per million passengers in 2019.
The top 10 airports for firearms finds are Atlanta with 391, Dallas Fort Worth with 232, Houston with 168, Phoenix with 147, Nashville with 115, Fort Lauderdale and Denver with 107, New Orleans and Salt Lake City with 90 and Dallas Love Field with 88 .
“The number of firearms our TSA officers are stopping at airport checkpoints is alarming,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “Firearms, especially loaded firearms, pose an unnecessary risk at checkpoints, have no space in the passenger cabin of an aircraft, and are a very costly mistake for passengers trying to board them.”
Firearm ownership laws vary by state and local government. Passengers can follow the instructions for packing firearms in their checked baggage and register them with their airline upon check-in. TSA advises that travelers should be aware of state and local gun laws for each location prior to departure to ensure they are transporting firearms in accordance with applicable laws. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Therefore, travelers should check with their airline prior to arriving at the airport regarding the carriage guidelines for firearms and ammunition.
“If passengers bring firearms to airport controls, the TSA will impose a civil penalty based on the number of previous offenses and whether the firearm was loaded at the time,” the press release said. “The full list of penalties is posted on TSA.gov. TSA PreCheck® members caught with a firearm at a TSA checkpoint may lose their expedited verification authorization for three years or more. Firearms are not allowed in the passenger cabin of an aircraft; this also includes travelers with a concealed weapon permit. “
Passengers can travel with firearms in their checked baggage if they are unloaded and packed in a locked hard case. The passenger must declare and present the case with the firearm at the airline check-in counter and inform the airline representative of their intention to travel with the firearm. Firearms are transported with checked baggage and placed in the hold of the aircraft.
The reported data represents the number of firearms caught by passengers or in their hand luggage at security checkpoints in the country. Improperly packaged firearms at checked baggage stations, toys, replicas and BB guns are excluded from the data.
Visit the TSA website for details on how to properly travel with a firearm.