TSA Says It Seized More Guns Than Ever at Airports Last Year

The federal Transportation Security Administration recovered a record number of guns from airline passengers' carry-on bags last year, the agency announced Thursday.

TSA Administrator Peter V. Neffenger credited his employees, who he said were better trained to interdict firearms.

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He did not say, however, if other factors were at play, such as a possible increase in the number of people trying to travel with guns.

Neffenger's predecessor, acting TSA Administrator Melvin Carraway, was reassigned in June after an internal investigation by the Department of Homeland Security found screening failures at dozens of the nation's busiest airports, including missed weapons, fake explosives and other contraband.

The 2,653 guns found by TSA agents in 2015 marked a 20 percent increase from 2014, the agency's most ever. More than 80 percent of the guns were loaded, the the agency said. They were found in 236 airports across the country.

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The airports with the largest number of firearm seizures were in the West, South and Southwest. Dallas' DFW International Airport had the most, with 153. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was second with 144. Houston, Denver and Phoenix followed.

The seizures came from 1.6 billion bags screened by TSA agents in 2015.