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Guns found at U.S. airport checkpoints on track to break record: report

Surrendered guns are displayed at a gun buyback event in Los Angeles, the United States, on May 31, 2014. (Xinhua/Zhang Chaoqun)

The number of guns discovered at security checkpoints has been trending upward for more than a decade, with the only decrease coming during the pandemic.

NEW YORK, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is on pace this year to again break the record for the number of guns intercepted at airport security checkpoints, underscoring a persistent challenge for security officials amid brisk gun sales in the United States, reported The New York Times on Wednesday.

So far this year, TSA officers have already discovered more than 4,600 guns at airport checkpoints, and about 87 percent of them were loaded, according to the agency. Last year, the TSA found nearly 6,000 guns at airport checkpoints, which itself was a record.

"The number of guns discovered at security checkpoints has been trending upward for more than a decade, with the only decrease coming during the pandemic," said the report.

The slew of guns found at the nation's airports this year have come as air travel in the United States is nearing a return to pre-pandemic levels, according to the report.

"Gun sales in the country have surged in recent years, suggesting that some travelers may be unfamiliar with the rules for carrying firearms while traveling by plane," it added. ■