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Record Number of People Try to Waltz Through TSA With Firearm in 2022

A total of 6,542 firearms were found in 262 different airports inside carry-on bags nationwide but while it was a record-breaking year for the U.S, discoveries at LA-area airports are down slightly. 

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at the five Los Angeles-area airports discovered 142 firearms in travelers’ carry-on luggage last year.

Only two of the five local airports set a new record: Ontario International Airport (ONT) and John Wayne Airport Orange County (SNA).

Below is a summary of TSA firearm discoveries at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Ontario International Airport (ONT), John Wayne Airport Orange County (SNA), Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR), Long Beach Airport (LGB) and nationally for the past five years:

“Every one of these firearms was discovered during the routine X-ray screening of carry-on property at airport security checkpoints,” the agency said in a news release.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport topped the highest number of firearms found with 448 followed by Dallas Worth International Airport with 385.  

Although the cumulative number of firearms brought by travelers to security checkpoints at Los Angeles-area airports is lower than last year, TSA Federal Security Director in Los Angeles Jason Pantages said that one gun discovered in carry-on luggage is one too many. 

“Firearms, whether loaded or unloaded, should never be brought to the security checkpoint in carry-on luggage. Doing so will cost you time, money and ultimately be very inconvenient for you,” TSA Federal Security Director in Burbank Anita Minaei said in a press release.

Last year, 761 million travelers were screened by TSA officers at airports nationwide. One firearm was detected for every 116, 394 travelers screened. 

When TSA finds a weapon, it’s taken away, and TSA alerts airport police.

Even if a traveler has a concealed weapons permit, firearms are still not allowed in carryon luggage.

A properly stored firearm. Image courtesy of TSA.

When Can You Travel With a Firearm?

Travelers should check local laws at their destination, as well as check in with their airline. Firearms can be transported on a regular airplane if it is:

  • unloaded
  • packed and locked in a hard-sided case
  • packed in checked luggage

TSA offers information to travelers relating to the rules and regulations pertaining to the transportation of firearms. A full summary of TSA’s civil penalties for prohibited items is also available.

Travelers can also check out the “Can I Bring” feature on the TSA website.


Source: NBC Los Angeles

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