WASHINGTON (WFXR) – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says officers stopped 98 handguns at Virginia airport security checkpoints in 2021 – a new record and a large jump from the 55 handguns caught the previous year.
All of the firearms were discovered by TSA officers during the routine screening of carry-on property at airport security checkpoints.
Below is a listing of the number of firearms caught by TSA officers in the last six years.
|Ronald Reagan Washington Nat’l (DCA)||19||13||16||14||10||30|
|Norfolk Int’l (ORF)||14||10||21||15||12||23|
|Richmond Int’l (RIC)||10||18||14||14||22||20|
|Washington Dulles Int’l (IAD)||24||19||17||19||7||19|
|Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional (ROA)||6||3||6||5||1||5|
|Lynchburg Regional (LYH)||3||2||2||3||1||1|
|Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional (CHO)||0||4||4||2||2||0|
|Newport News-Williamsburg Regional (PHF)||3||2||2||2||0||0|
Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to criminal charges from law enforcement – even civil penalties from the TSA.
Even if a traveler has a concealed weapon permit, firearms are not permitted to be carried onto an airplane.
Travelers who do have a concealed weapon permit may legally travel with a firearm but it must be in their checked baggage if they follow a few simple guidelines.
Across the country, the top 10 international airports that TSA checkpoint officers captured firearms at include:
- Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Int’l (ATL) – 507
- Dallas-Fort Worth Int’l (DFW) – 317
- Houston George Bush Int’l (IAH) – 245
- Phoenix Sky Harbor Int’l (PHX) – 196
- Nashville Int’l (BNA)- 163
- Denver Int’l (DEN) – 141
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l (FLL) – 128
- Orlando Int’l (MCO) – 124
- New Orleans Louis Armstrong Int’l (MSY) – 119
- Salt Lake City Int’l (SLC) – 115
Since 2008, the numbers of guns caught by TSA officers have largely climbed with 2020 seeing a lower number, likely due to fewer travelers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.