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More people are bringing guns to the airport than ever before, TSA says

Photos of some of the 104 firearms found in carry-on luggage at U.S. airports on the week of Feb. 5-11.
Photos of some of the 104 firearms found in carry-on luggage at U.S. airports on the week of Feb. 5-11. TSA

Last year was a record-setting year for TSA gun seizures in would-be passengers’ carry-on luggage in U.S. airports.

But this month, airport gun-toters set the bar even higher.

A new record for a weeklong span, the Transportation Security Administration nabbed 104 guns from carry-on luggage from Feb. 5 to Feb. 11.

That came after 3,957 firearms were seized from passengers who tried to board a plane with them in 2017. Both are new high marks for the agency.

Of the 104 guns taken during Feb. 5-11, 87 of them were loaded, according to the TSA blog, and 38 of them had a round in the chamber.

“Unfortunately, these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent, which is why we talk about these finds,” the TSA said on its blog. “Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions; that’s for law the enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items.”

The agency’s blog post contains the data from all 104 seizures, including where each occurred and what type of weapon was taken.

Of the 104 guns seized the week of Feb. 5-11, 21 were confiscated from carry-on items at Texas airports. That’s over 20 percent of the weekly record number that were taken from eight Texas jumping-off points.

DFW, Bush Intercontinental and Love Field were all among the top 10 airports for firearm seizures in 2017. DFW was second in guns seized, with 211. Only Atlanta International, with 245, had more.

The TSA can impose civil penalties of up to $13,066 per violation, with higher penalties for repeat offenders.

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