Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport ranked No. 2 in the United States for firearms discovered at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints.
“We do continuously update and work toward improving our technology. However, we also see a higher number of travelers with guns,” TSA spokeswoman Patricia Mancha said. “The liberal gun laws that have been implemented in many states have also led to more travelers bringing firearms to airports.”
In 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a law strengthening Second Amendment protection for Texans. The law allows residents over the age of 21 to carry a handgun without a license unless otherwise legally prohibited.
According to TSA, 6,542 guns were found in carry-on bags across 262 U.S. airports. This marked a 9.5% year-over-year increase from the 5,972 reported in 2021. Texas airports accounted for more than 20% of the total guns found nationally in 2022, with more than 1,300 guns found on passengers.
DFW International Airport (385) and ATL International Airport (448) were the two top-ranking U.S. airports in terms of guns found in 2022. The results seem to map onto the rate of traffic compared to other airports in the country.
In 2022, ATL was ranked the busiest U.S. airport based on its 348,000 departing flights. DFW ranked third with 315,000 departing flights. This was 22,000 fewer than the 337,000 departing flights reported by Chicago O’Hare, which ranked No. 2.
ATL International Airport also maintained its market dominance as the nation’s busiest airport when measuring airport traffic by seating. DFW ranked No. 2 in this category. However, if one includes airports outside the country, DFW would be bumped down to No. 3 by the international airport in Dubai.
Nevertheless, the total number of guns found by the TSA in the United States has risen 320% since 2012 and 480% since 2010, according to the TSA’s 2022 infographic about firearms discovered.
The TSA determined that 88% of firearms found on passengers or in carry-on luggage in 2022 were loaded.
Passengers are allowed to transport guns and ammunition under strict guidelines. However, laws concerning the possession of firearms can vary by locale.
The TSA advises it is best to comply with the laws of all the cities, states, and countries through which a person will be traveling.
In the United States, TSA requires unloaded firearms must be stored in a locked hard-sided container as checked luggage and declared upon arrival at the airport for check-in. Otherwise, travelers would face civil penalties up to a maximum fine of $14,950 per violation per person.