U.S. airport security stops record number of guns

WASHINGTON — The number of guns detected at airport security checkpoints continues to set new records, but the reason why remains uncertain.

Up to the final week of the year, the Transportation Security Administration found 2,164 guns in carry-on luggage, an increase of nearly 20 percent from the previous year.

“There’s no way for us to speculate why that is,” says Lisa Farbstein, a TSA spokeswoman. “It’s baffling.”

The total number of guns seized at the security checkpoints has gone up by about 300 each of the past two years.

“It is a trend we’d like to see go the other direction,” Farbstein says.

Of local airports, officers at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport stopped the most guns, with 13. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport reported 12 guns; Washington Dulles International Airport had seven.

“People tell us, for the most part, that they forgot that they had the firearm with them,” she says.

The overwhelming majority of the seized guns were loaded, according to the TSA.

Below is a list of the top 12 airports where TSA has detected firearms at checkpoints in 2014 (as of Christmas Day):

  1.  Dallas-Fort Worth – 115
  2.  Atlanta – 107
  3.  Phoenix – 78
  4.  Houston Bush Intercontinental – 75
  5.  Denver – 66
  6.  Houston Hobby – 51
  7.  Nashville – 50
  8.  Tampa  – 49
  9.  Orlando – 46
  10.  Fort Lauderdale – 45
  11.  Dallas Love Field – 43
  12.  Austin – 43

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