SALT LAKE CITY — Despite the decrease in air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, Transportation Security Administration officers at the Salt Lake City International Airport confiscated nearly the same amount of guns from passengers in 2020 as in 2019.
According to a press release, TSA confiscated 71 guns at the airport, a decrease in 14 firearms from the year before when travel was nearly double without the pandemic.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports passengers flying out of Salt Lake City "brought firearms in their carry-on luggage at a rate of 16.8 guns per million travelers screened in 2020, compared to 8 per million in 2019."
That rate is 68% higher than the national rate.
Salt Lake City International Airport recorded the tenth-most amount of guns seized among U.S. airports.
About five guns per million passengers were found across the country in 2019, TSA said.
In 2019, TSA agents found 4,432 firearms at all U.S. airport checkpoints, of which 87% were loaded.
“I commend our officers for their commitment to TSA’s security mission by identifying and stopping these weapons at the TSA checkpoints. Firearms are strictly prohibited on board planes in the passenger cabin,” said Senior Official Performing the Duties of TSA Administrator Darby LaJoye in the news release. “Bringing a firearm to a TSA security checkpoint poses a serious risk to TSA officer and passenger safety, and doing so may result in significant fines or arrest.”
Most guns were discovered at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport with 220. Dallas/Ft. Worth International came in second with 176 guns confiscated.