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Record number of guns intercepted at US airports last year

A Last year, the Transportation Security Administration intercepted a record 6,542 firearms at U.S. airports.

While most of the incidents were from people who say they forgot they had a gun in their luggage, the annual number of interceptions has grown every year since 2010, with the exception of 2020, when air travel became reduce drastically as a result of the pandemic. , the Associated Press reported.

The record number of 6,542 corresponds to about 18 guns intercepted by airport security on average each day in 2022. TSA Administrator David Pekoske places some of the blame on societal changes.

“What we see at our checkpoints really reflects what we’re seeing in society, and in society, there are more people carrying firearms today,” he said.

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While the TSA has intercepted firearms at airports of all sizes across the country, the airports with the most gun interceptions last year included three airports in Texas and three in Florida. Nashville, Tennessee; Atlanta; Phoenix; and Denver rounded out the spots with the most interceptions.

What happens to someone who inadvertently brings a gun through TSA depends on where the airport is. In some cases, the person may be arrested by local law enforcement and have their firearm confiscated, while in other locations, they may be allowed to hand the gun over to a companion and still be able to board on your flight

Last year, the TSA increased the maximum fine for the offense to nearly $15,000. Those caught also lose their PreCheck status for five years. Also, if it’s determined that the passenger intended to sneak the gun through security, they could be charged with a federal crime.

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“It’s disturbing, no matter what,” Keith Jeffries, a retired TSA official, told the Associated Press. “It’s a dangerous and prohibited item and let’s face it, you should know where your gun is, for crying out loud.”

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