TSA firearm catch rate doubles in 2020; 10 confiscated at MKE

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers detected twice as many firearms per million passengers screened at airport security checkpoints nationwide in 2020 compared to 2019, and at a significantly higher rate than any other year since the agency’s inception.

A news release issued on Tuesday, Jan. 26 says throughout 2020, TSA caught approximately 10 firearms per million passengers screened as compared to about five firearms per million passengers screened in 2019.  

TSA officers discovered a total of 3,257 firearms on passengers or in their carry-on bags at checkpoints, although the total number of passengers screened in 2020 fell by 500 million versus 2019 due to the pandemic. Of those firearms caught in 2020, about 83 percent were loaded. In 2019, TSA officers stopped a record 4,432 firearms, of which 87 percent were loaded.

Passengers with firearms at checkpoints were stopped at 234 airports nationwide. The top ten airports where TSA officers detected guns at checkpoints in 2020 were: 

The top ten airports where TSA officers detected guns at checkpoints in 2020 were: 

Top 10 airports with total firearm catches by TSA in 2020

  1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): 220
  2. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW): 176
  3. Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH): 126
  4. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX): 124
  5. Denver International Airport (DEN): 104
  6. Nashville International Airport (BNA): 94
  7. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL): 87
  8. Orlando International Airport (MCO): 79
  9. Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS): 72
  10. Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC): 71

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Major airports for the Midwest include:

  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW): 43
  • Indianapolis International Airport (IND): 36
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD): 33
  • John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH): 24
  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW): 21
  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE): 18
  • Gerald R. Ford International Airport (Grand Rapids - GRR): 12
  • Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE): 10

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