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TSA Reports Record Confiscations of Firearms for 2015

TSA Administrator Peter V. Neffenger praises staff vigilance as the agency reveals that 2015 was a record year for firearms seizures. 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced on Thursday that it had seized a record number of firearms from passengers’ carry-on luggage during 2015. The agency said it seized a grand total of 2,653 weapons during the year, compared to 2,212 in 2014.  This is an increase of 20 percent.

In terms of the highest number of seizures, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) came out on top with 153 confiscations.  DFW was followed closely by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), which had a total of 144 firearms seizures.  George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Denver International Airport (DEN), and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) rounded out the list with 100, 90 and 73 respective confiscations.

Of the 2,653 weapons seized from carry-ons, the Houston Chronicle reported that 2,198 were loaded.

The TSA has also reported that it screened 40 million more passengers this year, bringing the total figure to 708 million for 2015.

The agency reports that there has been a steady increase in the number of firearms it has confiscated since 2005, when only 660 seizures were made.

While he declined to explain the factors behind this overall rise in firearm confiscation, TSA Administrator Peter V. Neffenger praised the agency’s staff for their vigilance. TSA staff, Neffenger believes, are better trained than ever to detect and interdict firearms.

“I am proud of the men and women who serve in the TSA and grateful for their hard work in the past year,” he said in an official statement.

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

While firearm possession laws can vary from state to state, the TSA advises travelers to familiarize themselves with local procedures prior to travel. While weapons are not permitted in carry-on luggage, as long as they are properly packed and declared, they can be transported in checked bags.

The TSA’s advice on traveling with a firearm is available to view here.

 [Photo: TSA]

Comments are Closed.
sbrower January 25, 2016

How many of those guns are from police officers? Remember a few years ago when the HEAD of the Los Angeles Police Department Counter-terrorism unit got stopped for carrying a gun? It was especially funny because he wasn't actually authorized to carry that weapon because he wasn't a real "law enforcement" officer, They had given him a permit for a concealed weapon, but not for the one he was carrying, so it was illegal even outside the airport. But, no matter how stupid, do you think he was a threat to aviation?.

NZguy January 22, 2016

Interestingly, it does not require the naked body scan to find these weapons. I also wonder how many they found inside people's (removed) shoes or hiding behind their (removed) belts. U.S. security is a joke. So much unnecessary waste of resources.