TSA Reports Record Number of Firearms Confiscated at Security Checkpoints in 2022

December 17, 2022

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has seen an unprecedented amount of firearms being brought to airport security checkpoints throughout 2022.

Official figures show that the TSA has intercepted a total of 6,301 firearms as of December 16th, with more than 88 percent of them loaded. This is a record and the number marks a significant increase when compared to their previous record set in 2021, when a total of 5,972 firearms were detected.

TSA expects that it will prevent about 6,600 firearms from entering the secure area of airports by the end of 2022, a nearly 10% increase over last year's record level. Officials attribute this increase in part to an overall rise in gun ownership among American citizens.

Firearm possession is an independent legal matter that is regulated by both state and local governments. However, regardless of any permits or licenses that may be held by a passenger, firearms are strictly forbidden in carry-on bags when going through a TSA security checkpoint. 

This measure has been put in place to ensure the safety of travelers and reduce the potential risk of firearm-related incidents at these checkpoints. If you are found to be in possession of a firearm while passing through a TSA checkpoint, passengers may face a civil penalty of up to $14,950. 

TSA PreCheck Privileges May Be Revoked for Firearm Offenders

The TSA takes the security of their passengers and staff very seriously. As such, they will not tolerate anyone bringing a firearm through airport security. If a passenger is caught with a firearm at a checkpoint, they will face the consequences which can include revocation of TSA PreCheck® eligibility for at least five years. Depending on the local laws in the airport's location, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint may even be arrested by law enforcement. 

“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.”

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