More than 2,000 guns were discovered in carry-on bags at U.S. airports in 2014 with a record 18 found in one day, the Transportation Security Administration said in its year in review blog post Friday. The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport led the way, with 120 guns discovered, knocking off Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, which had led the nation in back-to-back years.
The TSA said that agents found 2,212 firearms at airport checkpoints across the country, which translates to an average of more than six per day. Of those, the agency reported that 83 percent of the firearms, or 1,836, were loaded.
The numbers showed almost a 25 percent increase from 2013, when 1,813 guns were found at American airports. In addition to the raw numbers, TSA also reported some of the agency’s more interesting finds -- including an assault rifle with three loaded magazines; a loading, folding-stock rifle with two magazines; an Mk 2 hand grenade; six blocks of inert C-4; and a number of other assorted explosives. An improvised explosive device training kit was also discovered in a checked bag in Hawaii.
Other notable discoveries by the TSA in 2014 included an 8.5-inch knife in an enchilada, which the agency noted "was a great catch, [but] the passenger's intent was delicious, not malicious, and she was cleared for travel." The agency also found a saw blade in a Bible, a cell phone knife case and a lipstick stun gun.
In all, 2014 yielded more than 1,400 "firearm components, replica firearms, stun guns, and other similar dangerous objects were discovered" in carry-on luggage.
Firearms were intercepted at a total of 224 airports, which was 19 more airports than in 2013. The top five airports for firearms discoveries were Dallas/Fort Worth International (120 firearms), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (109), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (78), Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (77) and Denver International Airport (70).
The agency detailed a busy year in 2014, saying that agents screened more than 653 million passengers in 2014 (about 1.8 million per day), which is 14.8 million more passengers than last year, according to the blog.