More guns are being found at airport security checkpoints than ever before, the Transportation Security Administration said this week.
Nearly 3,400 firearms were found in carry-on bags by TSA screeners throughout the U.S. last year — nine guns per day. It’s a 28 percent increase from about 2,600 the year before.
And of the guns found this year, about 83 percent were loaded, TSA social media team member Bob Burns said in a post on the agency’s blog Thursday.
The announcement comes about a week after a gunman shot and killed five people and injured several others at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, using a gun he brought with him as checked baggage on a flight from Alaska. The TSA allows guns and ammunition onto planes, as long as travelers stow them in checked baggage and alert their airline.
It also follows warnings from the TSA earlier this year that its agents were seeing an increase in people carrying guns and other weapons up to security checkpoints, whether intentional or not.
Two of the top 10 airports where firearms were found last year are in Florida: Tampa International, which ranked No. 8 with 79 guns found; and Orlando International, which ranked No. 6 with 86 guns.
The TSA reports it also found a variety of hazardous substances and weapons while screening carry-on bags at checkpoints last year.
Among the findings: dozens of inert grenades, sword canes, credit cards that turn into knives, stun guns disguised as lipstick, and a slew of “batarangs,” a weapon inspired by Batman.
“If you’re grabbing a bag, suitcase, briefcase, jacket or other item you haven’t used in a while, be sure to give it the onceover so you don’t accidentally take something prohibited to the checkpoint,” Burns wrote. “Many people who have brought guns, ammunition, knives and other prohibited item say that they did so unknowingly.”
Here’s the full top 10 list of airports where the TSA found guns at checkpoints:
1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): 198
2. Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW): 192
3. George Bush Intercontinental Airport – Houston (IAH): 128
4. Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX): 101
5. Denver International (DEN): 98
6. Orlando International Airport (MCO): 86
7. Nashville International (BNA): 80
8. Tampa International (TPA): 79
9. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS): 78
10. Salt Lake City International (SLC): 75