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Tampa International Airport Ranked Sixth For Firearm Confiscations In 2017

Photo Courtesy: Transportation Security Administration
The numbers of the top ten airports with firearms confiscated in 2017.

Tampa International Airport was one of the worst offenders last year in terms of the number of firearms confiscated from fliers.

The federal Transportation Security Administration said in 2017, 97 firearms were found at Tampa International Airport, ranking sixth in the nation for firearms found.

Nationwide, 3,975 firearms were discovered at security checkpoints. That was a 17% increase from 3,391 in 2016.

At the top of the list were Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with 245 firearms confiscated, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with 211 firearms discovered and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, with 142 discoveries.

Nationwide, firearms were found at 239 airports - an average of 10.8 a day.

Among the 3,975 firearms discovered in carry-on bags, 84 percent of them were loaded.

Also, 198 prohibited items were purposely hidden to try to make it through security. Officials say this act of deliberately hiding prohibited items is known as artful concealment, which can lead to missed flights, fines and arrests.

Many people who brought prohibited items say that they did so unknowingly. According to Transportation Security Administration, passengers are allowed to travel with firearms in their checked bag, but they must first be declared to the airline.

In his YouTube video, “TSA’s Top 10 Most Unusual Finds of 2017,” Transportation Security Administration Social Media Lead Bob Burns showcased what he thought to be the weirdest finds of the year.

The number one thing on his list: narcotics in holiday wrapping paper.

“Nothing says, ‘I care,’ on the holidays quite like festively wrapped narcotics,” Burns said to close his video.

For those unsure what they can and cannot bring on airplanes, Transportation Security Administration has an "ASK TSA" Twitter and Facebook page.

Andrea Martin is a WUSF/USF Zimmerman School digital news reporter for spring 2018.
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