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Flyers at United States airports just broke a record for the third year in a row.
As in 2012 and 2013, the number of guns discovered at airport security checkpoints by the Transportation Security Administration surpassed the number of guns discovered in the previous year. The 2013 tally was 1,813 weapons found, 1,477 of which were loaded. In 2012 the total was 1,550.
This morning, TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein tweeted that gun discoveries have already exceeded the 1,813 mark. Year-to-date numbers in September were 1,630 firearms, but October resulted in another 200 discoveries. As of today the total for the year is 1,850.
“We don’t want to find a firearm,” Feinstein told Skift. “It slows down the line for everyone.”
In a break from the last two years, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is leading perennial front-runner Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. According to the TSA’s Feinstein, at the end of October 92 guns had been discovered at Dallas as opposed to 74 in Atlanta. Feinstein points out that Atlanta has had an aggressive education program this year to remind flyers how weapons can legally be transported in checked luggage.
Historically, the top five airports for seizures have been in U.S. states with laws that make it easy to take loaded weapons into public places, airports such as Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Denver. Although airports such as New York-JFK and Chicago-O’Hare are highly trafficked, they rarely crack the top 20.
All the numbers out the the TSA haven’t been bad this year. After an ambitious push by the agency, PreCheck enrollments surpassed 500,000 in late August, and nearly 300 enrollment centers opened across the U.S. this year.
As of COB yesterday, 1,855 firearms discovered @TSA checkpoints in '14. Top airports: 104 @ DFW; 90 @ ATL; 66 @ PHX; 62 @ IAH; 61 @ DEN.
— Ross Feinstein (@TSAmedia_RossF) November 5, 2014