TSA had a record firearms catch rate in 2020, the highest in agency’s 19-year history

More guns seen in airports now than last 19 years

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

The Transportation Security Administration announced that 2020 brought a record catch rate of firearms in the agency’s 19-year history.

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According to a report released by the TSA, it detected twice the number of firearms in 2020 versus 2019, at approximately 10 firearms per million in 2020 compared to five firearms per million in 2019.

The percentage of firearms caught increased, but the number of passengers screened dropped by 500 million in 2020 compared to 2019.

Jacksonville International Airport ranked 24th in the country for the number of firearms brought to TSA checkpoints, and Atlanta ranked first.

Florida had four airports that ranked in the top 15 in the country: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood at seventh, Orlando at eighth, Tampa International at 11th and Miami International at 13th.

In total, there were over 3,000 firearms caught in carry-ons or on passengers at 234 airports nationwide.

Of the 3,000-plus firearms, about 83% of them were loaded.

“Most of the guns brought to our checkpoints have been loaded, many with ammunition chambered. An accidental discharge could result in tragedy,” said TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz.

A TSA agent at Jacksonville International Airport said that even if the passenger is not arrested for carrying a firearm to a TSA federal security checkpoint, they can still be fined up to $13,000.

Here are the total number of firearms caught at the Florida airports mentioned:

- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL): 87

- Orlando International Airport (MCO): 79

- Tampa International Airport (TPA): 70

- Miami International Airport (MIA): 60

- Jacksonville International Airport (JAX): 36

Passengers can travel with firearms only when the firearm is packed in a checked bag, NOT in a carry-on, and the firearm must be declared at check-in, unloaded, and stored in a locked, hard-sided case.