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.

Airport201620172018201920202021
Ronald Reagan Washington Nat’l (DCA)191316141030
Norfolk Int’l (ORF)141021151223
Richmond Int’l (RIC)101814142220
Washington Dulles Int’l (IAD)24191719719
Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional (ROA)636515
Lynchburg Regional (LYH)322311
Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional (CHO)044220
Newport News-Williamsburg Regional (PHF)322200
Totals797182745598

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:

  1. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Int’l (ATL) – 507
  2. Dallas-Fort Worth Int’l (DFW) – 317
  3. Houston George Bush Int’l (IAH) – 245
  4. Phoenix Sky Harbor Int’l (PHX) – 196
  5. Nashville Int’l (BNA)- 163
  6. Denver Int’l (DEN) – 141
  7. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l (FLL) – 128
  8. Orlando Int’l (MCO) – 124
  9. New Orleans Louis Armstrong Int’l (MSY) – 119
  10. 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.

YearNationwide
Totals
20215,972
20203,257
20194,432
20184,239
20173,957
20163,391
20152,653
20142,212
20131,813
20121,556
20111,320
20101,123
2009976
2008926

Air travelers may use the “What Can I Bring?” tool on the TSA website or on the free downloadable myTSA app. Travelers may also tweet or message @AskTSA on Twitter if they have any questions.