TSA agents finding fewer guns at checkpoints this year, airport spokesperson says

The busiest airport in the United States has experienced a decline in the number of firearms discovered at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints compared to last year, a spokesperson for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport tells FOX 5. 

According to the spokesperson, 143 guns have been recovered at the TSA checkpoints so far this year, which is lower than at this point last year.

In 2022, TSA agents found 448 firearms at the Atlanta checkpoint. That was the highest number recorded among all airports in the country. 

Hartsfield-Jackson has implemented holographic signs at the airport, aimed at capturing passengers' attention in an effort to deter them from attempting to bring firearms on board – or reminding them to double-check their bags.

"Anybody crazy enough to think that they can get on an airplane with a firearm should never get on an airplane," said Kevin Burke, leader of Airports Council International.

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Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport officials say the Transportation Security Administration is finding less firearms at checkpoints at Atlanta’s airport so far this year. (FOX 5)

He said he supports the airport's efforts and encourages other airports to adopt similar measures. 

Despite the positive trend at Hartsfield-Jackson, the prevalence of firearms at airport checkpoints remains a concern across the nation. 

The TSA has confiscated a total of 1,500 guns at checkpoints nationwide so far this year, with the majority of them being loaded.

David Pekoske, the TSA Administrator, provided guidance for travelers, advising them to make sure their carry-on bags are empty to minimize the risk of unintentionally including prohibited items. 

"A lot of times we find in our checkpoints that people forgot that something was in their bag, and their x-ray system will detect it," he said.

Earlier this month, Kenny Wells, a suspect involved in a firearm-related incident at the airport, was sentenced to ten years in federal prison after his gun went off during a scuffle.