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Over 3,000 guns detected at airport checkpoints in first half of 2022, on pace to surpass record

A photo shows firearms confiscated from travelers at Newark Liberty International Airport. (TSA)

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that more than 3,000 guns had been detected by officials at airport checkpoints in the first half of 2022, adding that a record set last year could be broken.

“BREAKING: In first 6 months of 2022, @TSA detected more than 3,000 guns at checkpoints nationwide. On average, TSA is stopping 17 guns at checkpoints daily. At that pace, the number of guns detected will pass the current annual record of 5,972 guns stopped, which was set in 2021,” Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the TSA, tweeted.

The TSA last October announced a 20-year record in the number of guns detected at checkpoints — 4,495 airline passengers were prevented from carrying firearms on flights — even while the TSA had not received data yet on the last three months of 2021. 

The TSA says that checked baggage can include firearms if they are put into a locked, hard-sided case and unloaded and if the passenger alerts their airline about the items.

Passengers can be subject to fines if items like inert firearms, loaded or unloaded firearms are found at a TSA checkpoint or on the aircraft itself.

Loaded firearms and ones that have either been undeclared or not properly packaged that are found inside checked baggage can also be subject to a fine.

The newly reported figures come against the backdrop of recently signed bipartisan gun safety legislation, seen as a major feat given it received the backing of more than a dozen Senate Republicans to overcome concerns of a filibuster.

The gun safety legislation came in response to several high-profile shootings that took place in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y.

Weeks later, at least seven people died during a mass shooting in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Ill., during a Fourth of July parade.

“So much more needs to be done,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday.

“Let me give credit to those like … [Sen.] Chris Murphy, who worked with [Sen.] John Cornyn and others for a bipartisan bill. But let me tell you, we all know, at least some of us do, it’s not enough,” he added.

Tags Chris Murphy Dick Durbin
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