Nearly 200 guns found at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport checkpoints in 2022

Jan 18, 2023, 10:15 AM | Updated: 12:04 pm

The TSA said Friday, Dec. 16, 2022, it is raising the fine for people caught with a gun in their ca...

The TSA said Friday, Dec. 16, 2022, it is raising the fine for people caught with a gun in their carry-on bag to a maximum fine to $14,950 after intercepting a record number of firearms at security checkpoints for the year. Previously it was $13,910. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald via AP, File)

(Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald via AP, File)

PHOENIX — Nearly 200 guns were caught at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport security checkpoints in 2022, the fifth most in the country, according to federal transportation officials.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Sky Harbor found 196 firearms during routine screening of carry-on luggage last year, tying the record set in 2021.

The TSA discovered 6,542 guns at the nation’s airports in 2022, 10% higher than the record from a year earlier.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport led the nation with a record 448 firearms, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth International at 385, Houston George Bush Intercontinental at 298 and Nashville International at 213.

“It is my hope that these statistics serve as a wake-up call for those who choose to travel with a firearm,” Jerry Agnew, TSA federal security director for Arizona, said in a press release Tuesday.

“This is not a new problem, but it is one that must be addressed since we have reached an unacceptable level of firearms coming through our security checkpoints.”

The TSA can fine travelers up to $14,950 per firearm violation. The agency raised the maximum penalty from $13,910 in December in response to the increase in violations.

It’s not illegal to travel with a gun, but it must be properly stored and checked in. Firearms are never permitted in carry-on luggage.

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Nearly 200 guns found at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport checkpoints in 2022