BBC News - Chloe Kim

The TSA intercepted a record 6,542 guns at airport checkpoints across the US last year. Some 88% of them were loaded with ammunition.

Travellers are allowed to pack unloaded firearms inside checked luggage that typically goes into an aircraft's hold. They are also required tell the airline they intend to travel with weapons at check-in.

But guns are not allowed in carry-on bags or passenger cabins, even if a passenger has a concealed weapon permit.

The TSA intercepts guns at airport security checkpoints and reports some airports are seeing a surge in numbers in some places that are ahead of comparable figures last year.

Last year, the TSA raised the maximum civil penalty for a firearms violation to $14,950 (£12,419). Violators may also be arrested, have their weapons confiscated, and have their TSA PreCheck, the ability to skip normal security lines, revoked for at least five years.

Yet numbers continue to go up. The TSA has intercepted more firearms every year since 2010 except for 2020, when the pandemic slowed travel worldwide.

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