ATLANTA, Ga --- Airports have seen a significant increase in passengers with firearms at security checkpoints. In Atlanta, the number this year alone has already surpassed numbers from previous years.
As of Tuesday, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has seen 155 firearms at security checkpoints compared to the total of 144 that were found last year.
Nationwide a total of 2,462 guns have been found this year at airport security checkpoints. This number is just under the 2,653 that were discovered in 2015 and already beyond the 2,212 found in 2014.
Transportation Security Administration officers are reminding passengers that while firearms are allowed in checked baggage (provided that airport officials are made aware, they are in a proper carrying case and are unloaded) they are strictly prohibited in carry-on bags.
TSA’s first concern is safety and traveling with these items can be dangerous and can be mistaken as an intentional act to bring prohibited items onto an aircraft.
“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to checkpoint," Mark Howell, TSA regional Spokesperson said. "Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.”