ATLANTA - Atlanta airport officials are happy to talk about setting records, like being the world's busiest and so forth. But Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport this month has set a different type of mark, an all-time mark for any airport, that officials are not happy about.
There have been more guns confiscated, 211 in all, than at any other time or at any other air facility in the United States. Atlanta also held the previous all-time record at 198 guns found in 2016.
Consider the mark has been set with six weeks still to go in 2017, the period ahead will see the largest number of travelers.
What is going on? The Transportation Safety Administration said people are rushing and forget they have a gun in carryon. Yet, that happens everywhere, so there must be something more.
Mark Howell, a spokesperson for TSA believes the increase is a combination of more people flying than ever before and Georgia being a gun-friendly state where citizens more and more are packing.
The uptick is also not necessarily unique to Atlanta. A total of 3,733 guns have been found by TSA officers at checkpoints nationwide through November 13 of this year. That is up from 2016 where 3,391 firearms were detected and 2015 when 2,653 were intercepted.
TSA officials said 76 guns were detected at Atlanta’s airport in 2010, 69 in 2011, 2012 saw an increase of 96, 2013 had 111, it declined in 2014 to 109, but then jumped in 2015 to 144, before setting the first record in 2016 with 198.
Howell also said travelers need to know that if they are in the line and realize they have left a gun, they can get out of the line before reaching the screening area and take that weapon back to the car or hand it over to a family member seeing them off.