TSA reports finding 126 guns in carry-on luggage in 2023

Feb 2, 2024, 3:49 PM

A TSA agent at the Salt Lake City International Airport looking over the line of passengers waiting...

A TSA agent at the Salt Lake City International Airport looking over the line of passengers waiting to make it through security on Dec. 18, 2023. (KSL TV)


SALT LAKE CITY — The Transportation Security Administration in Utah reported finding 126 firearms in carry-on luggage at security checkpoints in 2023, beating 2022’s record of 123.

Salt Lake City International Airport, the state’s biggest and busiest airport, found the majority of those firearms during routine screenings with 110 discoveries.

Despite the higher number of guns found in 2023, Utah isn’t in the top 10 of worst offending airport locations in the U.S. for 2023.

“The Salt Lake City International Airport ranked 17th nationwide for firearm discoveries,” Lorie Dankers, a spokesperson for TSA, said.

The top five airports with the most firearm discoveries include Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (451), Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (378), Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (311), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (235), and Nashville International Airport (188).

Nationally, TSA officers detected 6,737 firearms at 265 airports throughout the year.

TSA screened approximately 858 million passengers and crew in 2023, discovering firearms at a rate of one per 127,356 travelers.

“Today’s release of firearm statistics serves as a good reminder why procedures call for screening one passenger, one bag at a time. We will continue to remain vigilant to ensure that firearms and other potential security threats do not make it into the cabin of an aircraft,” Matt Davis, the TSA federal security director for Utah, said. “If you want to travel with a firearm, please take a few minutes to refresh your knowledge of the proper procedures to do so. It will likely save you time and money the next time you travel.”

TSA said that passengers should check gun laws at their destination, declare firearms during check-in, and follow airline-specific requirements. Travelers can utilize resources, such as the “What Can I Bring?” feature on the TSA website and the myTSA mobile app, or contact “@AskTSA” for real-time assistance.

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TSA reports finding 126 guns in carry-on luggage in 2023