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TSA Found a Record 6,737 Firearms at Airport Security Checkpoints in 2023

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TSA Found a Record 6,737 Firearms in 2023

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) intercepted a record of 6,737 firearms at airport security checkpoints in 2023. Approximately 93% of these firearms were loaded. This total surpasses the previous year’s record of 6,542 firearms stopped at checkpoints and represents the highest one-year total in TSA’s history.

“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,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “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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In 2023, TSA screened more than 858 million individuals, which indicates the agency intercepted 7.8 firearms per million passengers, a drop from 8.6 per million passengers in 2022.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, which ended Dec. 31, Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) stopped 1,665 firearms at checkpoints. The total represents an average of 18 firearms per day at TSA checkpoints, of which nearly 93% were loaded.

When a firearm is detected at a security checkpoint, TSOs immediately contact local law enforcement, who remove the passenger and the firearm from the checkpoint area. Depending on local laws, the law enforcement officer may arrest or cite the passenger. TSA says it does not confiscate firearms.

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In addition to any action taken by law enforcement, TSA fines passengers who bring a firearm to a TSA checkpoint with a civil penalty up to approximately $15,000, revokes TSA PreCheck® eligibility for at least five years and may conduct enhanced screening to ensure there are no other threats present.

TSA Found a Record 6,737 Firearms in 2023

For more information on how to properly travel with a firearm, visit: The transporting firearms and ammunition page on TSA.gov. You may also view the complete list of penalties on TSA.gov.

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