NewsCovering Colorado


DIA breaks another record for confiscated firearms at TSA screening points, report shows

Denver International Airport sees firearm confiscation record broken for second straight year
Posted at 3:07 PM, Jan 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-10 18:24:17-05

DENVER — DENVER – Denver International Airport has broken yet another record for the number of confiscated firearms found during TSA screenings over the past year, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Transportation Security Administration.

Denver’s total number of confiscated firearms rose to 178 for 2023 from the previous record of 156 firearms a year prior, the report showed. Nationally, airports across the U.S. have also seen an increase in the number of confiscated firearms at TSA checkpoints.

Last year, a total of 6,737 confiscated firearms were found by TSA agents, according to the report. In 2022 that number was 6,542. The agency said in a news release Wednesday that the latest figures represented “the highest one year total in TSA’s history.”

The report showed a more concerning statistic – 93% of the firearms confiscated were loaded.

Aiport Firearm Graphic.png

“We are still seeing far too many firearms at TSA checkpoints, and what’s particularly concerning is the amount of them loaded, presenting an unnecessary risk to everyone at the TSA checkpoint,” said TSA administrator David Pekoske. “Firearms and ammunition are strictly prohibited in carry-on baggage. Passengers are only allowed to travel with an unloaded firearm, and only if they pack it properly in a locked, hard-sided case in their checked baggage and first declare it to the airline at the check-in counter.”

In 2023, TSA screened more than 858 million individuals, which indicates the agency intercepted 7.8 firearms per million passengers, a drop from 8.6 per million passengers in 2022, according to the release.

TSA said when a firearm is discovered by TSA, they immediately contact local law enforcement, who remove the weapon and the passenger. The passenger can also be fined up to $15,000, have their privilege of TSA PreCheck ability revoked for at the minimum five years, and could be subject to further screening to make sure they do not present any other threats.

To correctly check a firearm for a flight, the passenger must make sure the firearm is unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided case, and placed into a checked bag. For more information on how to properly travel with a firearm, visit: The transporting firearms and ammunition page on You may also view the complete list of penalties on

Here’s where airports across the country ranked for confiscated firearms in 2023:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Atlanta): 451
  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (Dallas): 378
  • Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston): 311
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (Phoenix): 235
  • Nashville International Airport (Nashville): 188
  • Denver International Airport (Denver): 178
  • Orlando International Airport (Orlando): 164
  • Tampa International Airport (Tampa): 144
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (Fort Lauderdale): 135
  • Dallas Love Field Airport (Dallas): 125


Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.