Rate of guns seized at airport checkpoints jumped in 2020 despite fewer travelers

National

Travelers wear face masks while passing through the south security checkpoint in the main terminal of Denver International Airport Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

WASHINGTON (AP) — There were fewer air travelers in the United States last year, but a higher percentage of them were carrying guns.

The Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday that screeners found 3,257 firearms on passengers or in their carry-on bags in 2020, or about 10 for every million travelers. About 83% of the guns were loaded.

That was double the rate of guns found in 2019. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport had the most guns seized, 220, followed by 176 guns at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport checkpoints.

Federal law prohibits passengers other than certain law enforcement officers from bringing guns or ammunition into the cabin, although unloaded guns are permitted in checked bags that go into the cargo hold.

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