A firearm confiscated at the airport. Photo via @TSA_Pacific Twitter

Transportation Security Administration officers at San Diego International Airport detected 30 firearms in travelers’ carry-on luggage in 2022 contrary to the record-breaking national trend, officials announced Wednesday.

Nationwide last year, TSA officers found 6,542 firearms at 262 different airports, according to the administration.

Every one of these firearms was discovered during the routine X-ray screening of carry-on property at the airport’s security checkpoints, according to the administration.

Below is a summary of TSA firearm discoveries at San Diego airport and nationally for the past five years:

Airport 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
SAN 22 14 12 30 30
National totals: 4,239 4,432 3,257 5,972 6,542

Locally, TSA officers screened 11,701,250 departing passengers and crew at San Diego’s airport in 2022. This equates to one TSA firearm discovery for every 390,041 travelers screened.

“We are asking gun owners to reacquaint themselves with the proper procedures to travel with a firearm on a commercial aircraft,” said Kathleen Connon, the TSA security director at San Diego International Airport. “Doing so will help avoid an inconvenient and potentially expensive mistake.”

Travelers can use the “Can I Bring” feature on the TSA website or on the TSA mobile app, myTSA, to help determine whether an item is permitted in carry-on baggage, checked baggage or not at all.


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Ellen Bullock