JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Transportation Security Administration officers found three times as many guns at airports this July than the same month last year.
TSA said the rate is particularly surprising since there were about 75% fewer passengers in July 2020 over the previous year’s volume.
In July 2019, TSA reported finding 5.1 guns per million people screened. This July, TSA officers detected 15.3 guns per million people screened.
“Travelers must understand that firearms are prohibited items at airports and in the passenger cabins of aircraft. As hard as we are working to mitigate other risks as this time, no one should be introducing new ones,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a news release.
So far this year, 20 guns have been intercepted at Jacksonville International Airport — including one on Wednesday and one on Thursday.
In comparison, 50 were seized all of last year at the airport.
Some of the travelers at JAX on Thursday seemed to take it in stride.
“With today’s travel, people are leaving chaotic cities, and right now, there’s so much unrest in our society, they’re probably just not thinking about it,” said one man named Jason.
But others were surprised.
“Quite frankly, it kind of blows me away that people would be silly enough to try to pack a gun or any kind of weapon in their luggage,” Brian Seidle said.
In Florida, 261 guns have been intercepted so far this year.