SAFETY

Utah ranks 10th in the nation for most firearms found in carry-on luggage

Jan 27, 2021, 4:02 PM
Utah firearms...
File photo: Salt Lake City International Airport (Photo credit: Peter Samore)
(Photo credit: Peter Samore)

SALT LAKE CITY — In a new report by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Utah ranks tenth in the nation for the most firearms discovered in traveler carry-on luggage. In 2020, the TSA says they found a total of 71 firearms in carry-on luggage at Salt Lake City International Airport while conducting routine security checks.

TSA continues to ask travelers to carefully pack their carry-on bags to ensure that firearms are not brought to the security checkpoint,” said TSA Acting Federal Security Director for Utah Grant Goodlett. “TSA officers continue to be focused during their screening duties to ensure that firearms – and other security threats – do not make it into the cabin of an aircraft.”

Locally, the TSA screened approximately 4.2 million departing travelers at the SLC airport in 2020. Of those screenings, statistics show people traveling out of SLC brought firearms in carry-on luggage at a rate of 16.8 firearms per million travelers screened, which is above the 2020 national average. The national average is about 10 firearms per million passengers screened, according to the TSA. 

Compared to previous years, the total number of firearms found at security checkpoints didn’t vary much. In fact, in the year 2020 the TSA  reported the least amount of firearms spotted in carry-on luggage. In 2018,  the TSA reported 73 firearms at security checkpoints, and 81 firearms in 2019. 

National firearm statistics from TSA

It was a record-breaking year for TSA agents. Nationally, the discovery rate of firearms in carry-on luggage doubled in 2020. That year was the highest in the agency’s history. In total, the TSA found 3,257 firearms in carry-on luggage in 2020. 

In 2020, TSA screened approximately 324 million travelers at airports nationwide — only 39% of approximately 824 million screened in 2019. Despite a significant drop in screenings because of the pandemic, the TSA said it detected roughly 10 firearms per million passengers screened as compared to 5 firearms per million passengers screened in 2019. 

TSA firearm statistics (TSA)

The top three airports with the most discoveries were:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (220 firearm finds) 
  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (176 firearm finds)
  • Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (126 firearm finds)

TSA protocol for traveling with firearms

People are allowed to travel with firearms, but there’s a handful of rules that must be followed in order to do so. Even if someone has a concealed carry permit, they are prohibited from bringing a firearm onto a plane. 

“Firearms can be transported on a commercial aircraft only if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case, and placed in checked baggage,” said the TSA. “Any type of replica firearm is prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be transported in checked luggage.” 

The TSA advises everyone traveling with a firearm to check with the airline they’re flying with for specific instructions. 

If a traveler disobeys these regulations, they could be subjected to civil or criminal penalties. The TSA said they evaluate each firearm situation differently. For example, when determining a civil penalty, the agency considers “whether the firearm was loaded and whether there was accessible ammunition.”

The best piece of advice from the TSA: don’t bring your gun through security. 

For more information about traveling with a firearm, visit here. For a full list of civil penalties and prohibited items on planes, visit here.  

 

Today’s Top Stories

Safety

A screenshot of a facebook post made to the parents of Macie Hill....
Mark Jones

Father of girl who died in Kaysville parade is thankful for those who helped

An 8-year-old girl died Monday in an accident during the Kaysville Fourth of July Parade. Her father is thankful for all who assisted his daughter.
1 day ago
break car window dog...
Mark Jones

Dog dies after being left in hot car for more than an hour

A dog died Tuesday after being left in a hot car for more than an hour, according to Salt Lake County Animal Services.
1 day ago
A house in Spanish Fork was on fire late Monday night....
Mark Jones

Spanish Fork house catches fire after fireworks not properly extinguished

Officials said a house fire in Spanish Fork was a result of recently used fireworks not being disposed of properly. No serious injuries were reported.
1 day ago
Utah Highway Patrol stopped 4,937 vehicles over the Fourth of July weekend....
Mark Jones

Busy Fourth of July weekend for Utah Highway Patrol

In statistics released Tuesday, the Utah Highway Patrol says its Troopers made contact with 4,937 drivers over the Fourth of July weekend, making it a busy one.
1 day ago
Utah County Sheriff's Office badge....
Mark Jones

As one blaze is nearly contained, new Soldier Fire starts up

The Soldier Fire started up Tuesday in Utah County. According to Utah Fire Info, the blaze is near Highway 68 at milepost 15.
1 day ago
The Kaysville Fourth of July Parade is canceled after a medical emergency....
Kira Hoffelmeyer

8-year-old girl in critical condition after getting injured at Kaysville parade

KAYSVILLE, Utah — An 8-year-old has been critically injured during the Kaysville City Fourth of July parade. Kaysville Police say the girl was taken to a hospital for her injuries. This happened at 175 S. Main St in Kaysville. It’s unclear if the child fell off the float and was hit, or if she was […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Utah ranks 10th in the nation for most firearms found in carry-on luggage