You are NOT allowed to bring a gun onto a plane in your carry on bag.  Even if you have a concealed carry permit. You can bring a gun on a plane if it is unloaded and packed in a locked, hard-sided case and the bag is checked. Despite that very clear rule, many people continue to bring guns in their carry-ons. And Florida airports are seeing a lot of them.

The TSA announced in a press release ” Nationwide, TSA officers stopped 6,542 firearms at checkpoints at 262 different airports, surpassing the previous record of 5,972 firearms caught at checkpoints last year. The majority of those firearms (88%) were loaded. ” On average, that’s one gun for every 116,394 travelers screened nationwide. But of course, some airports see more than others.

Last week we noted, Four of the Top Five Worst Airports in the U.S. Are In Florida. At least Florida is slightly better on this list. However, neither of these lists compare to what went down in Atlanta this week:

Florida Airports gun confiscation is on the rise.

The Tampa Bay Times states, “In Florida, TSA officers confiscated a record 854 guns in 2022. That’s a 28% increase from the previous record in 2021.” And it’s not a small deal, either. I’m sure for many of these it was a mistake. But that mistake can involve criminal charges and a fine of up to nearly $15,000.  – Careful if you click on the Tampa Bay Times link, you only get three free articles before they start charging you.

So how does Florida rank on people trying to brings guns onto planes? Not as bad as you’d think. Sure, even one is too many, but take a look at what is going on in Atlanta. Below is the ranking, airport, and guns caught by TSA at checkpoints in 2022.

  • 10 Tampa International Airport (TPA) 131

    That beats Tampa’s previous record of 105 in 2021.

  • 9 Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) 134

    This must be why the new Grand Theft Auto is based around the Miami area.

  • 8 Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) 150

    Texas also has 3 airports on this list. Before you think this is mostly a Florida and Texas problem – read on.

  • 7 Denver International Airport (DEN) 156

    True story – I wore an Illuminati t-shirt at this airport hoping I’d be escorted into a secret meeting room. This was back around 2013 when Colorado just legalized recreational marijuana so it’s possible I was high as eggs when I tried it. The Denver Airport has more conspiracy theories than guns. So many that they had to issue a statement.

  • 6 Orlando International Airport (MCO) 162

    There’s Orlando. In the Four of the Top Five Worst Airports in the U.S. Are In Florida, Orlando was voted number one. 162 guns a year is just over 3 a week.

  • 5 Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) 196

    196 guns. That’s nothing compared to what they find in San Antonio.

  • 4 Nashville International Airport (BNA) 213

    Good ol’ boys and their guns?

  • 3 Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) 298

    More Texas. What’s the difference between an Intercontinental and International Airport?

  • 2 Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) 385

    Texas again. I get it, you have guns. But you don’t need it on the plane.

  • 1 Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) 448

    Coming in first and not even close is Atlanta. If you’re working TSA in Atlanta expect at least a gun a day.  You see how I put that video from Atlanta earlier in the story? That’s called foreshadowing. I’m good at this. I actually wrote a series that starts off with a 2 hour movie and then goes into 8 –  30 minute shows. It’s about old people doing crazy stuff at nursing homes because they’re bored. You listening Netflix? Call me.

Sign me up for the ESPN Southwest Florida email newsletter!

You love listening to ESPN Southwest Florida, now make sure you’re getting all the extra perks. Sign up today to be an ESPN Southwest Florida Insider!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.