INDIANAPOLIS — Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped 74 firearms from passing into the Indianapolis International Airport or onto flights at their security checkpoints in 2021. This is a notable increase from prior years, including 62 firearms in 2019.

Many airports were closed for extended durations of time in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns.

“While our passenger volumes have not yet fully returned to pre-pandemic levels, we are seeing even higher numbers of firearms, most of them loaded,” said Acting Indiana TSA Federal Security Director Kevin Bidwell. “Passengers are strictly prohibited from bringing firearms on board planes, and our TSA officers are laser-focused on security and preventing weapons from getting through our checkpoints.”

Indianapolis International Airport7436624031
Evansville Regional Airport62922
Fort Wayne International Airport123467
South Bend International Airport55186
Firearms caught by TSA at Indiana airport security checkpoints, 2017 to 2021

The TSA reported firearms stopped at security checkpoints were up nationwide with 5,972 caught throughout the U.S. This surpasses the previous nationwide record of 4,432 firearms caught at security checkpoints for a full calendar year in 2019.

While the Indianapolis International Airport’s number of guns caught at checkpoints is notably increased from prior years, the Hoosier state’s largest airport doesn’t crack the top ten airports for guns caught by the TSA. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was number one in 2021 with 507 firearms caught by TSA officers.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (317 guns), Houston’s George Bush International Airport (245 guns), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (196 guns) and Nashville International Airport (163 guns) rounded out the top five respectfully.

Civilians attempting to bring a firearm onto a plane may have fines imposed by them by the TSA for up to $13,910 per violation. A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100.

The TSA reminded passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed separately from ammunition in a locked hardback case and declared at the airline check-in counter.

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.