ST. LOUIS – TSA officials seized a record-high number of guns at airport checkpoints nationwide last year. Missouri also reached an all-time high in guns taken at airports.

TSA reports that officials confiscated 215 firearms from carry-on luggage at eight Missouri airports in 2022. That marks a 17% increase in guns seized (183) from 2021 and represents a new state record for the second consecutive year.

Among last year’s haul, TSA recovered 99 guns at St. Louis’ Lambert International Airport. That total is just three short of the airport’s record of 102 guns seized in 2021 and leads all Missouri airports for the third consecutive year.

Kansas City International (92) and Springfield-Branson National Airport (20) saw firearm seizures spike nearly 30 percent from 2021 totals, while Columbia Regional Airport set a new record with three guns found.

Nationwide, TSA officials detected a firearm for every 116,394 passengers screened. In Missouri, the rate was more than double the national rate, with one firearm discovered for every 54,083 passengers screened.

TSA notes, in addition to potential criminal citations, travelers face civil penalties for bringing firearms to the security checkpoint. Officials evaluate each firearm incident on a case-by-case basis. TSA encourages travelers to visit the “Can I Bring?” feature on its website.


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