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TSA firearm discoveries at Tenn. airports over double national rate in 2021

Nationwide, a firearm is detected for every 97,999 passengers screened.
Nationwide, a firearm is detected for every 97,999 passengers screened.
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 1:47 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2022 at 5:26 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - In 2021, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Tennessee airports discovered over 200 firearms in luggage.

Nationwide, a firearm is detected for every 97,999 passengers screened. The rate is over 2.5 times higher in Tennessee, with one firearm found for every 37,799 passengers screened.

Nashville International Airport broke a record after 163 guns were found throughout the year. According to the TSA, the total was higher than the sum of all Tennessee airports combined in 2020. At Mcghee Tyson Airport, 21 firearms were seized. That is 14 more than in 2020.

Across the country, the TSA said it seized more than 5,900 guns at security checks in 2021, 1,500 more than the previous record set in 2019. The TSA said most of those firearms, 86%, were loaded.

The TSA said that a fine of up to $13,900 could be presented for each violation. However, firearms can be brought with travelers on commercial aircraft as long as certain restrictions are followed.

“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,” the TSA said. “Any type of replica firearm is prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be transported in checked luggage.”

Passengers who wish to carry firearms have to go to the airline ticket counter and declare the firearm, ammunition and any firearm parts.

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