Source: TSA

Hartsfield-Jackson ranks No. 1 in guns caught at security checkpoints

Hartsfield-Jackson International again had the most guns caught at security checkpoints of any airport in the United States in 2019 by a wide margin, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Nationwide, a record 4,432 firearms were found at airport security checkpoints last year. Of the total, about 87 percent were loaded, TSA said.

A total of 323 guns were discovered at Hartsfield-Jackson, up 25 from 2018, according to the TSA. It’s the fourth straight year that Atlanta has held the No. 1 spot in the nation for guns caught at airport checkpoints.

The Atlanta airport also set a record for the most firearms discovered in a single month -- with 34 caught in May.

The airport with the second-highest number of gun discoveries was Dallas/Fort Worth International with 217 guns in 2019 -- more than 100 fewer than Atlanta.

While Hartsfield-Jackson is the world’s busiest airport in total passenger counts, other airports typically have more passengers passing through checkpoints. That’s because the majority of passengers counted in Atlanta are connecting between flights and do not go through a security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson.

TSA advises travelers not to pack their firearm in a carry-on bag and to check bags for prohibited items before heading to the airport. 

Those who are caught with guns at airport security checkpoints risk being charged and can face civil penalties of up to $13,333.

Top 10 airports for firearm discoveries in 2019

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): 323

2. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW): 217 

3. Denver International Airport (DEN): 140 

4. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH): 138 

5. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX): 132 

6. Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL): 103 

7. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL): 100 

8. Nashville International Airport (BNA): 97 

9. Orlando International Airport (MCO): 96 

10. Tampa International Airport (TPA): 87

Source: TSA

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About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.
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