LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — According to a TSA new report, McCarran International Airport ranks 9th in the nation for number of guns discovered during the routine screening of carry-on property at airport security checkpoints.
In 2020, 72 guns were discovered at McCarran. This compares to 81 in 2019 and 59 in 2018. Nationwide, 3,257 guns were discovered in 2020.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport topped the list with 220 firearm finds followed by Dallas Fort Worth International Airport with 176 and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport with 126.
- Harstfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
- Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
- Denver International Airport
- Nashville International Airport
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
- Orlando International Airport
- Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
- Salt Lake City International Airport
In 2020, TSA screened approximately 324 million travelers at airports nationwide. That figure represents just 39 percent of approximately 824 million screened in 2019.
Despite decreased passenger loads in 2020 due to the global pandemic, TSA officers across the country discovered firearms in carry-on luggage at a rate twice what it was in 2019 and the highest rate since the agency’s inception.
In 2020, TSA detected about 10 firearms per million passengers screened as compared to 5 firearms per million passengers screened in 2019.
Locally in 2020, TSA screened approximately 10 million departing travelers at LAS, about 43% of the total number screened in 2019. Statistics show that travelers flying out of LAS brought firearms in carry-on luggage at a rate of 7.2 firearms per million travelers screened, which is less than the 2020 national average.
By comparison, in 2019, the rate was 3.5 firearms per million passengers screened.
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In addition to potential criminal citations, travelers face civil penalties for bringing firearms to the security checkpoint and TSA evaluates each firearm incident on a case-by-case basis.
Among the factors, TSA considers when determining the civil penalty amount include whether the firearm was loaded and whether there was accessible ammunition. Even if a traveler has a concealed weapons permit, firearms are not permitted in carry-on luggage.
In addition to civil penalties, individuals who violate rules regarding traveling with firearms will have Trusted Traveler status and TSA PreCheck expedited screening benefits revoked for a period of time. The duration of the disqualification will depend upon the seriousness of the offense and if there is a repeated history of violations.
Firearms can be transported on a commercial aircraft only if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and placed in checked baggage. Any type of replica firearm is prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be transported in checked luggage.
At the airport during the check-in process, a passenger needs to go to the airline ticket counter to declare the firearm, ammunition and any firearm parts.
Prior to traveling, passengers are encouraged to check gun laws and regulations at their destination to ensure they are in compliance with local and state laws.
TSA also recommends travelers check with their airline prior to their flight to ensure they comply with any airline-specific requirements.