2021 to likely break record for number of guns found by TSA; DTW roughly doubled 2019 amount

Posted at 4:22 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-04 17:32:46-05

(WXYZ) — Thousands of travelers made their way through security this past week at Detroit Metro Airport. Some of them were trying to bring dangerous weapons on a plane.

“I would say on a daily basis we're going to be finding prohibited items of varying degree of severity,” said Jessica Mayle, Public Affairs Specialist for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Great Lakes Region.

"At an airport the size of Detroit Metro we’re going to be collecting items like the ones I shared.”

Those recent items include a hatchet, a 5 inch long knife, prop guns and lighters designed to look like guns. They were all found in possession of passengers trying to get past security during holiday travel at DTW.

“Most people they aren’t trying to smuggle the items, they put them through the checkout like everyone and are like 'oh, I forgot I had that' or "I didn't know I couldn't bring that.'”

According to Mayle, 2021 will likely break a record for guns found by TSA agents. While the final numbers are still being tallied and will be released in the coming weeks, Detroit will likely report more than 90 guns, roughly doubling the number of guns found in 2019.

“Most of these guns are loaded, so it’s extremely dangerous both at the checkpoint situation and of course if it were to make it on a plane, very dangerous on a plane,” Mayle said.

In each instance police will be called with possible criminal charges. Mayle wants to remind travelers to know what’s in your carry on bag and know the rules of travel. Guns, or anything resembling a gun, is only allowed in checked baggage.

“Even a toy gun is not allowed in your carry on bag," Mayle said. We don't want things that our officers will think is a gun or on board other passengers might think is a gun.”