More than 3.4K guns intercepted at airport security checkpoints in 2024, TSA says

The Transportation Security Administration said it has stopped more than 3,400 guns at airport security checkpoints so far this year, and most of the firearms were loaded.

The agency also said it screened more passengers this summer, including a record-breaking three million passengers this past Sunday.

A total of 3,269 firearms were intercepted at security checkpoints during the first half of 2024, which ended on June 30, the TSA said, adding that 94% of those weapons were loaded.

The number of firearms stopped during this period was similar to the total at this time last year – which was 3,251 – but the number of passengers this year has increased.


Officers screened nearly 7% more passengers during the first half of 2024 than during the same time span last year, the TSA said. During the second quarter of 2024, more than 236 million passengers were screened, outpacing the more than 221 million passengers screened in the second quarter of last year.

So far in 2024, TSA officers have detected an average of 19 firearms per day.

In the first eight days of July, which are included in the third quarter of 2024, officers across the U.S. intercepted another 166 firearms, totaling 3,435 firearms stopped by officers as of Monday.

The agency said 7.5 firearms per one million passengers were found at security checkpoints during the second quarter of 2024, which is a slight dip from the same period last year when the rate of discovery was 7.9 firearms per one million passengers.

“During a period of record-breaking travel volumes, our officers are working hard to keep our transportation systems secure and the traveling public safe, and any time they detect a firearm, there is a real safety concern for frontline employees and travelers,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement.


“If you carry a firearm, you are required to place it unloaded and locked in a hard-sided case in your checked bag and declare it to the airline when checking in at the airline ticket counter,” he continued. “Do not bring it to the checkpoint. It is costly and delays you and everyone else traveling in the same lane with you.”

The TSA said passengers are allowed to travel with a firearm, but it must be secured in checked baggage, unloaded and locked in a hard-sided case. The passenger must also notify the airline when checking the bag at the airline ticket counter.

Firearms are prohibited at security checkpoints, in the secure area of an airport and in the cabin of an airplane, regardless of whether a passenger has a concealed carry permit or is in an area that allows constitutional carry.

The agency urged passengers traveling internationally to be aware of their destination’s gun laws, as the region may prohibit traveling with firearms and could impose criminal penalties.

The TSA noted that it does not confiscate firearms. If a passenger brings a firearm to the security checkpoint, either on their person or in their carry-on luggage, an officer will contact police to unload the weapon and take possession of it. 

Police may also arrest or cite the passenger, and the TSA may fine passengers up to nearly $15,000 for bringing a gun to a security checkpoint.

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