Texas Leads The Nation In Firearms Seized At Airports - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Texas Leads The Nation In Firearms Seized At Airports

More and more people are being caught with loaded firearms in carry-on luggage at airports across the nation. Texas is leading the nation in the recovery of those firearms, according to TSA documents. And Wichita Falls is no different.

In 2014 two firearms were recovered from passengers at Wichita Falls Regional Airport. Airport officials said this year is shaping up to be no different.

Although 2015 has just started, Wichita Falls Regional Airport employees say a loaded firearm has already been recovered. They said this month, the recovery of that firearm resulted in the arrest of one person.

 “I think that if there's a rule that you shouldn't be carrying firearms with your carry on luggage, that you shouldn't do it,” said Carol Crow, a Wichita Falls resident. “But the fact that they caught them is a good sign.”

Although only two loaded firearms were seized at Wichita Falls Regional Airport, the airport leading the nation in gun recoveries is just about two hours out. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport seized 120 guns in 2014. That's about 11 more guns than any other airport in the United States.

Transportation Security Administration records show more than 2,200 firearms were seized in 2014. It's a 22 percent increase in weapon discoveries from 2013.

One Wichita Falls resident said the growing number doesn't come as a big shock.

“I think a lot of it is just people forgetting they have it in a bag and not paying attention when they get on the plane,” said Mike Johnson. “That's what a lot of it is. I don't think it's people trying to sneak one on.”

TSA officials may agree with Johnson. A post on the TSA blog shows they believe some of the record number of firearms can be contributed to people just forgetting about their weapons.

“My son was one of them,” said Johnson. “Someone gave him a pistol, it was a relative, and said ‘here' and he put it in a bag.”

Johnson said his son was not arrested, but was held by law enforcement for hours. He said the growing number of discoveries just mean security is doing a good job.

“I think they must be, because they are, pretty much, catching everyone that's doing it,” said Johnson.


Brittany Costello, Newschannel 6 

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