WINDSOR LOCKS, CT—The number of guns found at airport security checkpoints was up again nationally in 2019, but New England airports including Bradley International Airport found fewer guns than the previous year.
The Transportation Security Administration announced that 36 guns had been found at New England checkpoints in 2019, down from 45 in 2018. The number is still up from 2017, when 29 guns were found at the eight federalized airports in New England.
Bradley’s TSA checkpoint detected seven guns in 2019, compared with nine in 2018 and five in 2017, the agency said.
The TSA said in 2019 it detected an average of 12.1 firearms per day at its checkpoints, reaching 4,432 at all U.S. airports combined, and that 87 percent of the guns were loaded. The 2019 mark was a 5 percent increase from 2018.
As airline traffic has climbed in the years since TSA was created in the post-9/11 period, so has the number of guns its officers detect on passengers or in carry-on bags. In 2009, the TSA detected 929 firearms, and has set a new record every year since then.
Passengers who bring guns to airport checkpoints can face hefty fines and criminal charges. However, firearms can be transported in checked baggage if the TSA and airline storage and permit requirements are met.
TSA data shows that guns found at Bradley on Feb. 26, April 18, April 19, May 16, June 2, Aug. 3 and Sept. 10. All 7 were loaded, and three of them had a round in the chamber, according to the data TSA released.
The TSA does not keep data on whether local arrests were made when a firearm was found.
Officers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport found 323 guns in 2019, the most in the country.
Of the 36 guns detected in New England, 18 were at Boston Logan International Airport. Logan and Bradley made up 70 percent of the firearms found. Three guns were found at airports in Providence, R.I., Portland, Maine and Burlington, Vt. and one was found at the airports in Manchester, N.H. and Worcester, Mass.