US airport screeners confiscated guns at record rate in 2020

Gregory Wallace, CNNPublished 26th January 2021
A handgun found by the Transportation Security Administration in carry-on baggage at Philadelphia International Airport. Despite passenger traffic depressed by 75 percent, the number of guns found at airport security checkpoints is up three times over last year's rate, the agency told CNN.
(CNN) — Airport security screeners are finding guns at US checkpoints at about twice the rate they did in 2019, according to new Transportation Security Administration data.
TSA said it found about 10 firearms per million passengers in 2020, compared to five per million passengers in 2019. The agency said it found 3,257 guns in total last year, and 83% were loaded.
The rate of guns found has grown as the number of people screened at checkpoints has dropped.
TSA is currently screening less than 40% of traffic that it did a year ago.
Screeners stopped passengers with firearms at 234 airports in 2020.
With 220 guns, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport had the most firearms discovered at TSA checkpoints.
In July 2020, the rate of guns found spiked to more than 15 guns per million travelers -- when travel was at one of its lowest levels during the pandemic.
That rate was up from 5.1 guns per million people in July 2019 even though air passenger traffic was down 75% at the time.