NORFOLK, Va. - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is breaking down the number of guns officers have found in Virginia in 2021.
TSA said they stopped 98 handguns at Virginia airport security checkpoints through the year and added it was a new record. The 98 guns found in 2021 was a jump from the 55 guns caught in 2020.
The firearms were all discovered by TSA officers during carry-on routine checks at airport security checkpoints.
"Norfolk International Airport saw nearly double the number of guns detected in 2021 when 23 were caught compared to 12 that were stopped at checkpoints in 2020," TSA officials said.
Here is a breakdown from TSA on firearms caught:
Nationwide, TSA officers detected 5,972 firearms at airport security checkpoints in 2021. It was a significant increase from the 3,257 detected in 2020 and a spike from the 4,432 detected in 2019 (pre pandemic). The rate of guns caught at checkpoints nationwide came to of 10.2 firearms per million passengers in 2021. Of the guns caught in 2021, approximately 86 percent were loaded. Firearms were caught at 268 airport checkpoints nationwide.
TSA reminds travelers that those who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA. Officials said in a press release, "Even if a traveler has a concealed weapon permit, firearms are not permitted to be carried onto an airplane. However, travelers with proper firearm permits can travel legally with their firearms in their checked bags if they follow a few simple guidelines."
National statistics: Firearms caught by TSA at checkpoints, 2008 to 2021: