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Transportation Security Administration

Number of firearms discovered at ATL security checkpoints surpasses 2015 total

Local Press Release
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

ATLANTA – As of yesterday, Transportation Security Administration officers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) have discovered 155 firearms at security checkpoints in 2016, surpassing the total of 144 firearms found there last year.

The increase in firearms at security checkpoints isn’t specific to Atlanta, though. A total of 2,462 guns have been found nationwide through September of this year.

A total of 2,653 firearms were found as U.S. airport checkpoints in 2015, up from 2,212 in 2014. 

While firearms may be transported in checked baggage (provided they are declared to the airline, in a proper carrying case and unloaded), they are prohibited in carry-on bags.

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.

Safety is the first concern of the TSA, 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,” said Mark Howell, TSA Regional Spokesperson. “Our 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. For more information about TSA prohibited items, please visit TSA.gov.

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