TSA detecting more guns at airport screenings even with lower number of travelers

National

MIAMI, FLORIDA – MAY 21: A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent’s patch is seen as she helps travelers place their bags through the 3-D scanner at the Miami International Airport on May 21, 2019 in Miami, Florida. TSA has begun using the new 3-D computed tomography (CT) scanner in a checkpoint lane to detect explosives and other prohibited items that may be inside carry-on bags. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (WAVY) — Transportation Security Administration officers detected firearms in carry-on bags at a rate three times higher this July, compared to the same month last year.

Officials with TSA said they they detected 15.3 guns per million last month compared to 5.1 guns per million people screened in July 2019. They say the rate is alarming because they screened about 75% fewer passengers in July 2020, over the previous year’s total.

“TSA is diligently working to ensure our employees and passengers are safe and secure while traveling during a pandemic, and yet we are noticing a significant increase in loaded firearms coming into checkpoints,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “Travelers must understand that firearms are prohibited items at airports and in the passenger cabins of aircraft. As hard as we are working to mitigate other risks at this time, no one should be introducing new ones.”

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its web site. They encourage travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.

Click here to see a list of what the TSA calls ‘gun catches’ for the month of July 2020. There were none listed for Hampton Roads airports, but Richmond had three.

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