CLEVELAND — The Transportation Security Administration has confiscated a record number of guns at airports in 2021, most of which were loaded.
TSA agents seized more than 5,700 in 2021, at a time when travel numbers are nearing those of 2019.
At Cleveland Hopkins Airport, agents have confiscated 19 guns at security checkpoints this year.
Travel numbers peaked in November ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, marking their highest level since the start of the pandemic.
Travelers are not permitted to carry firearms or ammunition in carry-on luggage through security checkpoints, but TSA regulations allow passengers to transport unloaded firearms in checked baggage.
Passengers must comply with state possession laws and are required to declare their firearms to airline personnel when checking in.
The TSA turns over all confiscated weapons to local law enforcement. Any traveler found violating the rules can be fined or face civil penalties.
Per the TSA, the rate of detection has doubled, from five firearms per 1 million passengers in 2019 to 11 firearms per million passengers in 2021. The previous record for confiscated firearms in a single year was 4,432 in 2019.
The agency says that what they see at security checkpoints generally reflects what’s happening in the country and pointed to the increase in gun seizures a result of more people carrying firearms.
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.