BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A record number of guns have been seized across the country in airports, including right here in Maryland. The TSA says it found more firearms last year than any year before.
Derek Valcourt has the surprising new statistics and more on the weapons that did not get through.
In this day and age, you’d think people would know better. But the TSA says, every day, it catches people with loaded guns either on their person or in their bags.
All those body scans, the X-rays, the pat downs–it’s all paying off. The Transportation Security Administration says last year it confiscated more than 1,800 firearms at airport checkpoints across the country. That’s up 16 percent over 2012, when they recovered more than 1,500 guns people tried to bring on planes.
Almost all of those guns were loaded.
“I would think that people would know not to bring guns to an airport,” said Tim Mullaney.
At BWI, 13 guns were found last year, including the December discovery of a semi-automatic belonging to Mark Kurtz of Pennsylvania, who faces charges for the weapon he said he did not know was in his bag.
“I can’t understand. I mean, knives is one thing, a pocket knife. But a gun? No, leave it in the car, leave it at home. Buy one when you get there. You can buy them anywhere,” said Mike Cope.
But guns aren’t the only problems TSA agents have been dealing with. They encounter a lot of other weapons in their regular searches.
WJZ got a closeup look at the kinds of weapons confiscated every month at the airport. From batons to knives, meat cleavers, throwing stars, brass knuckles–you name it.
“A lot of people say that they just forgot, a lot of people say that they didn’t realize that these items were prohibited,” said Lisa Farbstein, TSA spokesperson.
And after a gunman opened fire inside Los Angeles International Airport in November, killing a TSA agent, security at checkpoints remains at an all-time high.
The TSA says, on average, it confiscates five guns a day at airports around the country–80 percent of them are loaded.
The airports in Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Phoenix topped the list of airports with the most guns confiscated last year.
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