Number of firearms found at airport checkpoints on the rise

Number of firearms found at airport checkpoints on the rise

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - More and more passengers are being caught with weapons at TSA security checkpoints in airports around the country. The alarming trend is no different at Memphis International Airport.

The idea that more guns are being found at security checkpoints is a concern for many travelers.

Traveler Alex Thomason was not happy to hear that the Memphis airport is having another record year when it comes to firearms being found at its security checkpoints.

"It makes me a little nervous," Thomason said.

Last year, more than 2,200 firearms were found in airports around the nation. That's up 22 percent from the more than 1,800 that were found the year before.

In Memphis, 23 firearms were found in 2014. In 2013, 18 were found.

"Twenty-three in 2014 means that there were almost two a month," said traveler Marta Perdom.

TSA spokesman Mark Howell said out of all of the guns found in airports around the country, about 80 percent of them were loaded.

"The most common thing we're seeing at the checkpoints are liquids and knives, and the more dangerous things like explosives, flammables, and firearms are also an issue," he explained.

If a gun is found in your carry on, you could be cited or even arrested. You are able to carry a gun when you fly, but it must be unloaded, locked in a case, and in a checked bag. You also must inform the airline about it.

TSA did not have a theory as to what could be causing the increase in firearms found.

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