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Monday, June 24, 2024

TSA Finds 3 Loaded Guns, Inert Grenade in One Day at Seattle-Tacoma Airport

Officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) found three loaded firearms and an inert grenade last Tuesday during routine screening at the airport’s security checkpoints.

The first firearm of the day – a .45 caliber Glock 30S handgun loaded with nine rounds of ammunition – was discovered around 5:15 a.m. in the carry-on bag of a male passenger ticketed for travel to Newark Liberty International Airport.

The second firearm – a 9mm Smith & Wesson M&P 9 pistol loaded with eight rounds of ammunition – was discovered around 8:30 a.m. in the carry-on bag of a male traveler headed to Spokane International Airport.

The third firearm of the day – a 9mm Canik TP9 Elite SC pistol loaded with 12 rounds of ammunition – was discovered around 10:20 p.m. in the carry-on bag of a female traveler headed to San Antonio International Airport.

For each incident, TSA notified officers with the Port of Seattle Police Department who responded to the security checkpoint. A law enforcement officer removed the firearms from the X-ray tunnel and made contact with the travelers. What happens to the firearm and the travelers is up to the discretion of the airport law enforcement agency.

There is no indication any of the gun discoveries are linked. Each traveler was eventually permitted to continue on their travels.

In addition to these three firearms, TSA officers also discovered a grenade in a traveler’s carry-on bag Tuesday. Fortunately, the grenade was eventually determined to be inert, but it did require security screening to stop in the checkpoint while a TSA explosive specialist resolved the matter. Grenades are never permitted to be transported in carry-on or checked luggage.

“Yesterday’s firearm discoveries at SEA bring the total number in the month of May to seven. Let this statistic prompt all travelers to recommit to ensuring that our carry-on luggage is free of prohibited items, whether it is firearms, ammunition, grenades or other items not allowed in the cabin of the aircraft,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Washington Greg Hawko. “I remain grateful for all TSA officers who are committed to their security mission and work tirelessly to protect the traveling public from potential threats.”

So far in 2024, TSA officers at SEA have detected 49 firearms in carry-on luggage and 91% of those have been loaded. At this same point last year, TSA at SEA had discovered 41 firearms. Nationwide, TSA officers have discovered more than 2,500 firearms this year to date and 93% of those have been loaded.

During the 2024 Memorial Day weekend from Friday, May 24 to Monday, May 27, TSA screened 10.5 million travelers at airports nationwide. This is an increase of 8% over 2023 volumes.

Locally at SEA, TSA screened approximately 224,000 people during the four-day, 2024 Memorial Day weekend. Last year during the same period, TSA at SEA screened nearly 205,000 people, for a year-over-year increase of 9%.

With high travel volumes expected this summer, TSA is asking passengers to be vigilant and not bring firearms or other prohibited items to the airport. Doing so slows down the screening process for all travelers.

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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