With three months left in 2021, it has already become a record-breaking year for firearm detection by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). 2021 has seen the highest amount of firearms detected by TSA for 20 years.
By October 3rd of this year, TSA officers had stopped 4,495 airline passengers from carrying firearms onto their flights, surpassing the previous record of 4,432 firearms caught at checkpoints in the full calendar year 2019. TSA officers discovered 11 firearms in carry-on bags at airport checkpoints per million passengers screened so far in 2021. This compares to 5 firearms per million passengers in 2019.
When passengers bring firearms to airport checkpoints, TSA will assess a civil penalty that varies by number of previous offenses and whether the firearm was loaded at the time.
The reported data represents the number of firearms caught on passengers or in their carry-on bags at the nation’s airport security checkpoints.