MAINE, USA — Last year, the Transportation Security Administration said its agents confiscated 4,432 firearms nationwide from passengers at TSA security checkpoints; the most in the agency's 18-year history.
That number is up 5 percent from 2018, according to a spokesperson.
The TSA said they were discovered in carry-on bags or on passengers at checkpoints. Of those guns seized in 2019, 87-percent of them were loaded.
While the number of confiscated firearms continues to rise annually across the country, New England ranked relatively low in comparison last year.
Here in Maine, there were a total of six firearms confiscated in 2019. Three came from Portland's International Jetport, the other three came from the Bangor International Airport, according to a TSA spokesperson.
Boston's Logan International Airport saw the highest number of seized guns. In 2019 there were 18 confiscated from passengers at security checkpoints.
"Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA," a TSA spokesperson said. "Even if a traveler has a concealed weapon permit, firearms are not permitted to be carried onto an airplane."
However, travelers with proper firearm permits can travel legally with their firearms in their checked bags if they follow a few simple guidelines, according to the spokesperson.
Firearms were caught at 278 airport checkpoints nationwide, according to the TSA.
The top five airports where TSA officers detected guns at checkpoints in 2019 were: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International with 323; Dallas/Fort Worth International with 217; Denver International with 140; George Bush Houston Intercontinental with 138; and Phoenix Sky Harbor International with 132.