The TSA Just Found More Guns in Carry-On Luggage Than Ever Before

The 2018 data on airport security may suggest a troubling trend.

A gun confiscated by airport security in Atlanta in May 2018AP

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The Transportation Security Administration discovered a record 4,239 guns in travelers’ carry-on luggage in 2018, according to annual figures released by the agency Thursday. The majority of the firearms, about 10 per day on average, were loaded. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, the nation’s second-busiest airport, topped the list for most guns seized with a total of 298. (August was a particularly busy month there, with 32 guns removed.) America’s busiest airport, Chicago’s O’Hare International, didn’t make the top 10 list.

The data may suggest a troubling trend: The total number of travelers that the TSA screened in 2018 increased by 5.5 percent compared to the previous year—but gun discoveries increased by a rate of more than 7 percent in the same period, raising the question of whether more people are packing heat to take on planes (whether knowingly or inadvertently). While the TSA called the recent increase in discoveries “a testament to the coordination and collaboration” of its employees and partners, it didn’t discuss whether the increase may be due to improved screening or a greater number of people bringing guns through the airport.

A CBS News investigation of the TSA data from 2017 revealed that nearly two-thirds of the people responsible for attempting to carry guns onto planes were white men.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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