TSA intercepts record number of firearms at airport security
The TSA has increased the maximum civil penalty for a firearms violation in response to record levels of firearms being intercepted at airport security checkpoints in 2022.
A record number of firearms brought by passengers to airport security checkpoints were intercepted by Transport Security Administration (TSA) officers in 2022.
As of 16 December 2022, TSA stopped 6,301 firearms, of which more than 88% were loaded.
This number surpasses the previous record for 2021, of 5,972 firearms detected. TSA estimates it will prevent approximately 6,600 firearms in carry on bags from entering the secure area of airports by the end of 2022 – a nearly 10% increase over 2021’s level.
In response to this increase, the TSA has increased the maximum civil penalty for a firearms violation to $14,950. It hopes this will help reduce the threat of firearms at checkpoints. TSA determines the penalty amount for a violation based on the circumstances in each case.
The administration will also continue to revoke TSA PreCheck® eligibility for at least five years for passengers caught with a firearm in their possession. TSA may conduct enhanced screening for those passengers to ensure no other threats are present.
“I applaud the work of our Transportation Security Officers who do an excellent job of preventing firearms from getting into the secure area of airports, and onboard aircraft,” commented TSA Administrator David Pekoske.
“Firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags at the checkpoint and onboard aircraft. When a passenger brings a firearm to the checkpoint, this consumes significant security resources and poses a potential threat to transportation security, in addition to being very costly for the passenger.”
Passengers travelling by air who wish to transport firearms must do so in checked baggage, following proper packing guidance for firearms in checked baggage and declare them to their airline at check-in. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition, so travellers must also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies prior to arriving at the airport.