The TSA has reported 2019 saw record number of firearms confiscated at US airports.
4432 ballistic weapons were confiscated at security screening across the country, or roughly 12 a day. This represents a 5 per-cent increase on 2018's 4239.

In spite of the American constitutional right "to keep and bear Arms" airports are one of the few places where this freedom does not extend. It is illegal to bring weapons, unloaded or not, through airport security checkpoints.

In spite of this, the number of weapons confiscated at US airports has been growing for the past 10 years.

A more worrying statistic is the fact that almost 90 per-cent of the weapons were loaded when seized. 34 per-cent had a round chambered and were ready to fire.


Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta is the gun capital with 323 weapons seized.

The TSA urged passengers travelling with guns to pack their weapons in approved, locking hard-case containers. "Please don't pack your firearm in your carry-on bag and please check your bags before heading to the airport."

The maximum fines for carrying a weapon in an airport is US$13,333 ($20,000) per incident, and possible jail sentences.

Of the most unusual contraband items reported by the TSA were two missile launchers confiscated at Washington International Airport, in two separate incidents.

On July 29 a security contractor returning from Kuwait arrived at the airport with a rocket launcher in his checked luggage. The following week a US Air Force sergeant was found transporting another rocket launcher tube.

While neither launcher contained explosives and were souvenirs of training exercises, military issue arms are not allowed to be transported through US Airports.

The 10 most trigger happy airports in America

1.Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): 323

2.Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW): 217


3.Denver International Airport (DEN): 140

4.George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH): 138

5.Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX): 132

6.Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL): 103

7.Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL): 100

8.Nashville International Airport (BNA): 97

9.Orlando International Airport (MCO): 96

10.Tampa International Airport (TPA): 87