Record 2,653 Guns Found in Carry-On Bags Last Year

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NEW YORK — Travelers kept TSA on its toes in 2015.

The Transportation Security Administration intercepted a record 2,653 guns in carry-on luggage during 2015. And more than 82% of those weapons were loaded.

The guns were found at security checkpoints in 236 airports around the country.

The five airports with the most confiscated guns were: 1. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport: 153 2. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport: 144 3. Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport: 100 4. Denver International Airport: 90 5. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport: 73

The previous record was set in 2014, when 2,212 firearms were intercepted. The numbers have been climbing for a while — in 2005, TSA found only 660 guns.

“The transport of firearms by commercial air in carry-on bags represents a threat to the safety and security of air travelers,” TSA said in a statement. “Through increased training in detection methods, our officers are becoming more adept at intercepting these prohibited items.”

In 2015, TSA screened over 708 million passengers — more than 1.9 million a day. It also screened roughly 432 million checked bags and 1.6 billion carry-ons.

Travelers who are found with guns can face criminal charges and penalties.

Firearms, firearm parts and ammunition are strictly prohibited in carry-on bags, but it’s not necessarily illegal to bring a gun on a plane. Travelers are allowed to put a weapon into a checked bag as long as it’s unloaded and they inform the airline.