The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has said that a record number of firearms were brought by passengers to airport security checkpoints in 2022.
As of 16 December, the TSA stopped 6,301 firearms, with more than 88% loaded. This number surpasses the previous record of 5,972 firearms detected in 2021. The TSA anticipates it will prevent about 6,600 firearms in carry-on bags from entering the secure area of airports by the end of 2022, a nearly 10% increase over 2021’s record level.
To reduce the threat of firearms at checkpoints, the TSA has increased the maximum civil penalty for a firearms violation to $14,950.
“I applaud the work of our Transportation Security Officers who do an excellent job of preventing firearms from getting into the secure area of airports and onboard aircraft,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “Firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags at the checkpoint and onboard aircraft. When a passenger brings a firearm to the checkpoint, this consumes significant security resources and poses a potential threat to transportation security, in addition to being very costly for the passenger.”