Number of firearms at ATL security checkpoints surpasses 2016 total; breaks record

Local Press Release
Thursday, November 16, 2017

ATLANTA – Transportation Security Administration officers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) have discovered 211 firearms at security checkpoints in 2017 as of November 16, surpassing the total of 198 firearms found last year and setting a record for the most guns discovered at an airport checkpoint in a single year. The airport has led the nation in this category for five of the last seven years.

The increase in firearms at security checkpoints isn’t specific to Atlanta. A total of 3,733 guns have been found by TSA officers at checkpoints nationwide through November 13 of this year.

A total of 3,391 firearms were detected by TSA at U.S. airport checkpoints in 2016, up from 2,653 in 2015. Firearms may be transported in checked baggage (provided they are declared to the airline, in a proper carrying case and unloaded); however, they are prohibited in carry-on bags. TSA’s website details how passengers should pack firearms for travel.

TSA would like to remind passengers that it is important for them to thoroughly search their bags for any potential dangerous weapons or prohibited items before departing for the airport.

Security is TSA's first concern, and having these items in bags that are traveling with you on the aircraft is dangerous to other travelers and can be easily mistaken as an intentional attempt to bring a prohibited item onto an aircraft. 

Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint and TSA’s advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.

In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA.

Visit our website for more information about TSA's prohibited items.


2010 = 76

2011 = 69

2012 = 96

2013 = 111

2014 = 109

2015 = 144

2016 = 198*

*record for most guns discovered at an airport checkpoint in a single year