TSA Sees Overall Decrease in Firearms at Georgia Checkpoints in 2022

Jan. 18, 2023
Despite decrease, ATL leads the nation again with 448 catches.
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Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Georgia airports discovered a total of 482 firearms in travelers’ carry-on luggage in 2022, with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) leading the country with 448 found. Each of the firearms was discovered by TSA officers during the routine screening of carry-on property at airport security checkpoints.

While ATL saw a decrease of more than 11 percent from calendar years 2021 to 2022, several airports in the state posted significant increases, including Columbus Metropolitan and Valdosta Regional airports, which set new local records. 

In 2022, TSA screened approximately 761.4 million passengers and crew at airports nationwide. That figure represents a 30 percent increase over the approximately 585 million screened in 2021.

Statewide in 2022, TSA screened approximately 27.74 million departing travelers at Georgia airports, a nearly 26 percent increase over the total screened in 2021.

Nationwide, a firearm was detected for every 116,394 passengers screened. In Georgia, the rate was more than double the national rate — with one firearm discovered for every 40,570 passengers screened.

When a TSA officers sees the image of a firearm on the X-ray screen, TSA immediately notifies the local airport law enforcement agency, which responds to the security checkpoint. A law enforcement officer removes the firearm from the X-ray tunnel and makes contact with the traveler. What happens to the firearm and the traveler is up to the discretion of the airport law enforcement agency.