NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Toy guns are displayed after being confiscated at airport security checkpoints at the JFK International Airport on November 18, 2014 in New York City. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), displayed a cash of weapons and prohibited items taken up from travelers at airport security checkpoints and from checked luggage. The federal agency is reminding people to pack carefully during the heavy holiday travel season.

There are so many rules for TSA and many of them seem to vary by where you’re flying out of. But one of the most consistent, and obvious, is don’t try to bring a gun. Regardless people still do, whether intentionally or unintentionally. In a report released this week, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at North Carolina airports discovered a total of 250 firearms in travelers’ carry-on luggage in 2022. This number is down slightly from the 254 found in 2021. While it’s good news for the state as a whole, Charlotte, unfortunately, did see an increase. Leading North Carolina, Charlotte Douglas International saw an all-time high of 117 guns at security checkpoints in 2022.

Yeah, that’s definitely going to cause you to miss your flight. TSA says that “in addition to potential criminal citations, travelers face civil penalties for bringing firearms to the security checkpoint and TSA evaluates each firearm incident on a case-by-case basis. Among the factors, TSA considers when determining the civil penalty amount include whether the firearm was loaded and whether there was accessible ammunition.” So missing your flight is the least of your concerns at that point.

Statewide in 2022, TSA screened approximately 19.79 million departing travelers at North Carolina airports. This was more than 27 percent higher than the 2021 total. Nationwide, a firearm was detected for every 116,394 passengers screened. In North Carolina, the rate was even higher with one firearm discovered for every 79,167 passengers screened. While it’s a small number comparatively it is a little scary that the number is that high. Heck, I’m scared something in my makeup or toiletry bag is 3.2 ounces instead of less than 3.

Below you’ll find a breakdown of the total of guns found at North Carolina airports as well as numbers for individual airports.


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