Uptick in firearms spotted by TSA at West Virginia airports in 2019

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W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Transportation Security Administration says West Virginia is mirroring the national trend of an increase in the number of firearms detected at airport checkpoints across the country.

TSA officers say they stopped 18 handguns at West Virginia airport checkpoints in 2019, a significant increase from the 10 caught in 2018.

Nationwide, TSA officers caught more firearms at checkpoints nationwide in 2019 than ever before in the agency’s 18-year history.

In total, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags or on passengers at checkpoints across the country last year, averaging about 12.1 firearms per day. Officials say that's approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018. 87 percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded.

Firearms were caught at 278 airport checkpoints nationwide.