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In 2023, Montana airports discovered a record number of guns in carry-on bags



Bozeman, Montana – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said that in 2023, airports in Montana reported a record 59 weapons found in carry-on luggage.

According to a TSA news release, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is at the top of the list, having discovered 16 weapons in passengers’ carry-on bags last year.

The total number of weapons found at each of the remaining Montana airports in 2023 is as follows:

• Billings-Logan International Airport (BIL), 15
• Missoula Montana Airport (MSO), 11
• Glacier Park International Airport (GPI), 7
• Great Falls International Airport (GTF), 6
• Helena Regional Airport (HLN), 2
• Havre City-County Airport (HVR), 1
• Sidney-Richland Airport (SDY), 1

The TSA announced a new national record in 2023, stating that 6,737 guns were discovered at 265 airports nationwide.

“The record number of firearms discovered last year by TSA in carry-on luggage, both in Montana and nationally, is sobering. These are not the types of records that we want to break, so please pay attention to where your firearm is at all times and be sure to pack it properly when traveling on a commercial aircraft,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Montana KC Wurtsbaugh.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (451), Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (378), George Bush Intercontinental Airport (311), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (235), and Nashville International Airport (188) are the five U.S. airports with the highest number of TSA firearm discoveries in 2023.

TSA states that guns must be unloaded, packaged in a hard-sided, lockable case, and checked as baggage in order to be transported on commercial flight. It is also forbidden to bring any kind of replica firearm in carry-on luggage; instead, it must be checked.

According to the TSA, passengers who take a firearm on board run the risk of receiving a criminal citation in addition to possible civil fines. Regardless of whether a passenger possesses a concealed weapons permit, firearms are not permitted in carry-on luggage.

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