TSA found a record number of firearms in carry-on bags at SeaTac in 2022. Most were loaded
Posted in The Olympian:
A record number of firearms were discovered inside travelers’ carry-on luggage in Washington airports in 2022, according to a new report from the Transportation Security Administration. Nearly nine out of 10 guns found were loaded.
TSA officers found 164 firearms throughout the year in the Evergreen State, 113 of which were detected at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
A total of 34 guns were seized at Spokane International Airport, and 11 were found at Tri-Cities Airport in Franklin County. The number of firearms discovered at the three airports in 2022 is a record for each location.
The other Washington airports in which firearms were confiscated are Paine Field Airport (4) in Everett, Bellingham International Airport (1) and McAllister Field at the Yakima Air Terminal (1).
Every gun was found during the routine carry-on luggage screening process, according to the report. Once a firearm is detected, a law officer removes it after TSA notifies the local airport law enforcement agency, which decides how to handle the gun and the traveler.
Officers found 6,542 guns across 262 airports nationwide in 2022. The record marks a rising trend in firearm detections at airports both nationwide and in Washington.
Aside from a dip in 2020 due to low travel volume during the COVID-19 pandemic, gun detection numbers have risen yearly since 2018, from 4,239 in 2018 to 6,542 this past year.