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Gun seizures at Kansas City International could tie record set in 2017

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Courtesy Transportation and Security Administration
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A gun discovered by TSA agents. Gun seizures are up at KCI and even more at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis.

The Transportation Security Administration says it has seized 4,496 guns at airports so far this year, setting a new record with more than two months left in the year. At KCI, gun seizures are on pace to tie a record set in 2017.

With more than two months left in 2021, the Transportation Security Administration says it has prevented 4,495 guns from getting on planes, breaking a record set 20 years ago.

At Kansas City International, TSA agents have seized 56 guns so far this year. At that pace, the airport could break the record of 68 guns intercepted in 2017.

“The number of firearms that our TSA officers are stopping at airport checkpoints is alarming,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement. “Firearms, particularly loaded firearms, introduce an unnecessary risk at checkpoints, have no place in the passenger cabin of an airplane, and represent a very costly mistake for the passengers who attempt to board a flight with them.”

Last year, when the number of people flying declined due the pandemic, only 30 guns were seized at KCI, according to TSA data. In 2019, 67 guns were confiscated.

At Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, there's been a huge spike this year. By mid-October, 82 guns had been seized, the TSA said. At that pace, agents in St. Louis could confiscate close to 100 guns this year.

Last year, TSA agents in St. Louis caught 46 people trying to bring guns on planes. In 2019, the number was 57 and in 2018 it was just 47.

Dallas is the city with the most guns seized so far in 2021. TSA data show 232 guns were seized at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, with an additional 88 firearms seized at Dallas Love Field.

People may travel with firearms in checked baggage when they are unloaded and packed in a locked, hard-sided case. The passenger must declare and present the case with the firearm at the airline check-in counter.

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