TSA found record number of guns in 2023

The vast majority of people who tried to sneak guns through TSA had them loaded.

The Transportation Security Administration has reported finding a record number of guns at airport checkpoints for the third consecutive year.

The big picture: In 2023, airport security officers intercepted 6,737 prohibited guns from passengers trying to bring them onto airplanes.


  • Of the firearms discovered, 93% of them were loaded.
  • This surpasses the previous record set in 2022, where 6,542 firearms were found at checkpoints.
  • The TSA screened over 858 million people last year, resulting in an interception rate of 7.8 firearms per million passengers.
  • That was actually a drop from 8.6 per million passengers in 2022. 

What they’re saying: “We are still seeing far too many firearms at TSA checkpoints, and what’s particularly concerning is the amount of them loaded, presenting an unnecessary risk to everyone at the TSA checkpoint,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a news release.

  • “Firearms and ammunition are strictly prohibited in carry-on baggage. Passengers are only allowed to travel with an unloaded firearm, and only if they pack it properly in a locked, hard-sided case in their checked baggage and first declare it to the airline at the check-in counter.”
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