A record number of airline passengers were caught last year trying to take guns on planes, and most of the weapons were loaded, federal officials say.
The Transportation Security Administration says 2,653 firearms were found in carry-on bags in 2015, a 20 percent increase over the previous year, which had been a record. More than four out of five were loaded.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport ranked No. 1, with 153 discoveries. Other airports with the most gun discoveries were Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, 144; Houston George Bush, 100; Denver, 90, and Phoenix, 73.
Dallas Love Field ranked No. 8 with 57 guns found.
TSA screened 708 million passengers in 2015, 40 million more than in 2014.
Weapons of any kind are prohibited in carry-on bags. However, passengers can take guns with them when they fly if they are in checked bags, unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline.
TSA didn’t just find firearms. Among items discovered:
- Ten tubes of black powder were found in a checked bag at Salt Lake City International Airport.
- Two pounds of gun powder and 600 rounds of ammunition were found in a checked bag at Richmond International Airport
- Live smoke grenades were discovered at Las Vegas, Tucson, Austin, Columbus, Tulsa and Madison airports.
Other notable items found in Texas:
- an inert mortar round at the San Antonio airport
- an inert mortar shell at the Austin airport
- a scale model of an explosive drilling device at Houston Intercontinental