TSA Identifies Record Number of Guns at Airport Checkpoints

January 11, 2024

We are still seeing far too many firearms at TSA checkpoints, and what’s particularly concerning is the amount of them loaded, presenting an unnecessary risk to everyone at the TSA checkpoint.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator David Pekoske in a news release published Wednesday. During 2023, TSA intercepted more than 6,700 firearms at airport security checkpoints – approximately 93% of which were loaded.

Why It Matters: Firearms and ammunition – both restricted from carry-on baggage while traveling through airports – were intercepted a record number of times in 2023 by TSA (surpassing the previous record reached in 2022). In their announcement, the Pekoske specified that “passengers are only allowed to travel with an unloaded firearm, and only if they pack it properly in a locked, hard-sided case in their checked baggage and first declare it to the airline at the check-in counter.” 

Read More: TSA firearm detections hit a record high in 2023 – the vast majority were loaded (USA Today)

More data here: “National Statistics: Firearms caught by TSA at checkpoints, 2008 to 2023

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas