by: Danielle MacKimm
Posted: / Updated:
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – As gun laws loosen up in Utah and several other states across the nation, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is beginning to see more and more violations of their firearm regulations.
In 2021, TSA officers at Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) detected 115 guns in travelers’ carry-on luggage during the routine X-ray screening of carry-on property. This number proves to be a huge jump compared to those of prior years.
Last year TSA officers found a total of 5,972 firearms at 268 different airports nationwide. Overall, SLC was ranked tenth in the country for the number of firearm discoveries by TSA officers, with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport taking first place with 507 firearms finds, more than detected in any airport since the establishment of TSA.
“A record number of firearm discoveries at SLC and at airports nationwide continues to stun and disappoint,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Utah Matt Davis. “Despite an increase in the number of firearms that were brought by travelers to the security checkpoint at SLC, TSA employees here and across the country have not lost their focus. In fact, we are even more committed to our security mission and will remain vigilant to ensure that any type of security threat does not make it into the sterile area of the airport or onto an aircraft to ensure the security of the traveling public.”
In 2021, TSA officers screened 585 million passengers and crew members nationwide, a 44 percent increase since 2020, and 7.3 million passengers and crew members at SLC, a 64 percent increase since 2020. These numbers earn SLC the title of the No. 24 busiest airport for TSA security checkpoint screening operations.
Travels who go against TSA firearm regulations face potential criminal citations as well as civil penalties, which vary depending on the situation.
Those who go forth with violating TSA firearm regulations will have Trusted Travelers status and TSA PreCheck benefits revoked for a period of time.
Firearms are only able to be transported via a commercial aircraft if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and placed in checked baggage. Similarly, any type of replica firearm must be placed in checked luggage.