FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – While national numbers show the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has broken a record for most firearms intercepted at security checkpoints, officials said Thursday the Fort Wayne International Airport numbers have gone in the opposite direction.
The most up-to-date data shows that in 2022, TSA intercepted 8 firearms at the Fort Wayne International Airport security checkpoints. That’s down by 4 firearms compared to 2021. Jessica Mayle, public affair specialist with the TSA, said many factors could go into the decline in numbers, such as people just making better choices and the airport being smaller.
“It is declining here, and we would love that trend to continue.” Mayle said. “It’s good news. Although it’s rising nationally, we aren’t seeing that here in Fort Wayne.”
Nationally, TSA said as of December 16 they stopped 6,301 firearms, with more that 88% of them loaded. In 2021, the previous record of 5,972 firearms were detected. TSA said they are still gathering final numbers but anticipates to have prevented nearly
6,600 firearms in carry-on bags from entering the secure area of airports by the end of 2022, a nearly 10% increase over 2021’s record level.
In Indianapolis, the numbers show a decrease as well. For the year of 2022, TSA intercepted 68 firearms at the Indianapolis International Airport. In 2021, TSA found 74 firearms. However, in South Bend, the numbers went up. In 2022, TSA intercepted 11 firearms at the South Bend International Airport and five firearms in 2021.
Mayle said not only do they intercept firearms, but other items as well like knives, multi tools, razor blades, mace, and bottles of liquid.
“We see items like that everyday,” Mayle said. “These are the things that slow the line down, and we really want people to pack smart.”
Mayle also mentioned the x-ray check point bag screening tools as a help to TSA agents.
“We have one called a CT, or a computer tomography machine. It lets our officers kind of pick an image, stretch it, skew it and look 360 degrees around it, it’s no longer just a 2-D x-ray image anymore, so anything like that is helping us see in the bags better identify those threats quicker, all of that helps us find these items.”
If you aren’t sure whether you can bring an item to the airport or not, they ask you to go to their website.