TSA confiscated record number of guns from carry-ons in 2018

A record 4,239 guns were seized at U.S. airports last year. Most were loaded.

A record 4,239 guns were seized at U.S. airports last year. Most were loaded.

"In total, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country previous year, averaging about 11.6 firearms per day, approximately a 7 percent increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 3,957 detected in 2017", the statement said.

Another record also was broken in 2018: Of the firearms agents found nationwide, almost 86 percent were loaded. TSA is working with airports to improve signage reminding people guns can not be placed in a carry-on bag.

A sample of some prohibited items the TSA discovered at US airports in 2018 included fireworks in a carry-on bag of a passenger at Orlando International Airport on December 13, 2018. The agency also demonstrates how to properly pack an unloaded firearm - in a locked case, in checked luggage. TSA shared pictures of smoke grenades, lighter fluid, fireworks, replica mortar shells, concealed knives and foil-wrapped scissors found in checked and carry-on bags.

TSA can impose civil penalties of up to $13,333 on travelers who try to bring prohibited items on a flight.

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But that's not all that agents found in people's luggage. The pilot, Brian Andrew Machtemes, who lives in Minnesota, was arrested at Southwest Florida International Airport.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airpot came in second with 219 firearms confiscated (193 loaded) followed by Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with 129 (120 loaded), Denver International Airport with 126 (95 loaded), George Bush International Airport with 117 (115 loaded), Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport with 96 (80 loaded), Austin-Bergstrom International Airpot with 93 (76 loaded), Dallas Love Field Airport with 89 (82 loaded) and Nashville International Airport with 86 firearms (80 loaded).

The airports that saw the most firearms discovered sit along the Sun Belt, from Atlanta to Arizona, in states with looser gun laws, reports CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave. "Anything resembling an explosive item is prohibited in carry-on and checked bags". Our review of 2017 police records from seven airports found at least three cases where it appeared guns had gotten through checkpoints. "Call us at 866-289-9673 or shoot us an email (pun intended)".

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