ATLANTA (WSAV) — Gun confiscations at Georgia airports spiked in 2021, according to a report by the Transportation Security Agency (TSA). Officers found a total of 542 guns in travelers’ carry-on bags, with a whopping 507 of those being at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The Atlanta airport led the nation in confiscations this year and more than doubled its 2020 numbers. The Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport came in second place in the Peach State, reporting 26 confiscations, still just a fraction of Atlanta’s airport.
The TSA says gun confiscations in Georgia occur in one in every 40,570 passengers, which is double the national average of one in every 97,999 passengers.
TSA says the guns were confiscated during routine screenings. Taking a gun in carry-on luggage could bring you a hefty fine and even criminal charges.
The TSA provided a breakdown of gun confiscation in the past four years at Georgia airports below:
|Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International||298||323||220||507|
|Savannah-Hilton Head International||19||18||6||26|
|Southwest Georgia Regional||2||1||1||1|
|Middle Georgia Regional||0||1||0||1|
|Brunswick Golden Isles||2||1||0||0|
The TSA screened nearly 585 million passengers and crew nationwide last year, marking an 81% increase from the previous year when air travel was cut short in response to the raging COVID-19 pandemic. Georgia airports saw an even higher increase in screenings compared to 2020, totaling 21.98 million travelers last year.
Guns can be taken on airplanes if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and placed in checked baggage, TSA says. Replica guns must also go through the checked baggage.
TSA listed the top 10 airports with the most gun confiscations below:
|1||Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport||507|
|2||Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport||317|
|3||Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport||245|
|4||Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport||196|
|5||Nashville International Airport||163|
|6||Denver International Airport||141|
|7||Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport||128|
|8||Orlando International Airport||124|
|9||Louis Armstrong New Orleans International||119|
|10||Salt Lake City International Airport||115|