© 2022 WUGA | University of Georgia
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Local News

TSA officials find 94 guns in three months at ATL airport

hartsfield gun
A loaded handgun seized in 2015 at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Last year, TSA officers caught over 500 guns at Atlanta airport security checkpoints.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has set a new record, but it’s not one that airport officials are likely to brag about.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Transportation Security Administration officers caught 94 guns at Atlanta airport checkpoints in the first three months of 2022, a record high. A TSA spokesperson said that nearly ten percent of guns found at airports across the country are found at Hartsfield-Jackson. The TSA detected 507 guns at the airport last year.

Also last year, travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson got a scare when a firearm in a passenger’s carry on bag discharged. According to a TSA statement about the November 20, 2021 incident:

"[A] property search TSO at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s (ATL) Main Checkpoint began a bag search due to a prohibited item identified by the X-Ray. He advised the passenger not to touch the property, and as he opened the compartment containing the prohibited item, the passenger lunged into the bag and grabbed a firearm, at which point it discharged. The passenger then fled the area, running out of the airport exit."

The offender turned himself in about ten days later. During the incident, two bystanders needed medical attention for shortness of breath, and a third suffered a fall during the fracas.

Carrying a firearm in carry-on luggage is illegal, and violators could face fines of up to $13,900 dollars.