WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — The Transportation Security Administration found 1,813 firearms in travelers’ carry-on luggage last year, and as of the end of June 2014, TSA officials have already confiscated 1,025 firearms at U.S. security checkpoints.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, TSA agents already surpassed the 1,000 weapons mark by July, and checkpoints are hauling in weapons – most loaded and found in carry-on baggage – on a weekly basis.
The Transportation Security Administration screened 638,705,790 travelers in 2013 – over 1.7 million each day. Of the 1,813 firearms discovered in carry-on bags across the U.S., 81 percent (1,477) of them were loaded. Firearms were found at 205 airports, with Atlanta’s 111 intercepted weapons leading the list.
Through June of this year, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport still tops the list, but Dallas/Fort Worth International has tied it with 46 firearms apiece, WSJ reports.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International was second with 36, Tampa International was third with 29, George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston was fourth with 28 and Denver International Airport rounded out the top-five firearm confiscation checkpoints in the U.S. With the addition of Tampa to this year’s list, all of these airports also claimed the most weapons in 2013 as well.
Weekly TSA reports show that the 9mm was the most common firearm confiscated in July.
Last year was also the first incident in which a TSA officer, Gerardo I. Hernandez, was killed in the line of duty at Los Angeles International Airport.
According to TSA regulations, air travelers “may only transport unloaded firearms in a locked, hard-sided container as checked baggage. All firearms, ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames, receivers, clips and magazines are prohibited in carry-on baggage.”
And while exceptions to carry-on rules include rifle scopes and Armed Security Officer’s (ASO) handguns, the term “firearm” is defined to include: Any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. The frame or receiver of any such weapon. Any firearm muffler or firearm silencer, or any destructive device.