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DFW Ranks 2nd For Guns Taken At TSA Checkpoints

Montage of guns collected by TSA

Three Texas airports ranked in the top 10 for the number of guns the Transportation Security Administration discovered at airport checkpoints last year. The agency caught more firearms at checkpoints nationwide in 2019 than ever before.

“The continued increase in the number of firearms that travelers bring to airport checkpoints is deeply troubling,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement. 

Firearms were caught at 278 airport checkpoints nationwide. Overall, firearm discoveries at U.S. airports were up 5% from 2018.

Credit TSA

At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, 217 guns were picked up during security screenings. DFW was second only to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson airport where 323 guns were found. 

George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston ranked fourth on TSA’s list. The agency confiscated 138 guns there. 

Dallas-Love Field was also in the top ten in the nation for gun confiscations, with 103 firearms discovered.

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage.

“There is a proper way to travel safely with a firearm,” Pekoske said. “First and foremost, it should be unloaded. Then it should be packed in a hard-sided locked case, taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared, and checked.”

TSA’s website has details on how to properly travel with a firearm.

Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA. Individuals can face up to $13,000 in federal fines. TSA says a typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint costs the traveler $4,100.

Miguel Perez is an assistant producer at KERA. He produces local content for Morning Edition and KERA News. He also produces The Friday Conversation, a weekly interview series with North Texas newsmakers.
Gabrielle Jones has a passion for serving diverse audiences. She is the Audience Editor at KERA in Dallas, Texas.