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104 firearms seized at DIA in 2020, fifth-most in nation

David Mullen - Colorado Politics  | Published on 2/8/2021

Officials from the Transportation Security Agency said 104 firearms were seized at Denver International Airport in 2020, the fifth most of any airport in the United States.

Despite the number of travelers dropping drastically as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, TSA officials say 9.8 firearms per million were seized at DIA in 2020 compared to six firearms per million in 2019.

Although DIA saw a heightened number of firearms discovered in carry-on bags in 2020, the 9.8 firearms per million is still lower than the national average. 

Overall, 83% of the firearms located at U.S. airports were loaded, TSA officials said.

The rising numbers at DIA coincide with a national trend. The rate of firearms being seized doubled from five to 10 per million from 2019 to 2020, officials said. 

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport topped the list with 220 firearms seized. It was followed by Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (176), Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (126) and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (124).

TSA reminds travelers that to bring a firearm on board, it needs to be unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and be in a checked-in bag.

In the event a traveler leaves a firearm in a carry-on bag, officials will evaluate each case differently. Criminal penalties as well as privileges such as Trusted Traveler status or TSA PreCheck could be revoked for a period of time.