Jan 16, 2020

TSA caught record number of guns in carry-ons in 2019

A TSA security screening at Orlando International Airport. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The TSA found an average of 85 firearms a week at airport security checkpoints in 2019, a record-setting 4,432 guns for the year, of which nearly 90% were loaded, the agency revealed on Wednesday.

The big picture: This uptick in airline passengers bringing loaded guns in carry-on bags, which violates TSA rules, is part of a growing trend. The agency has steadily found more firearms every year since 2009, when only 976 were discovered.

Details: The TSA found 5% more firearms last year than in 2018, the agency said. The airports with the highest number of passengers trying to take guns through security were Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Denver International Airport.

What they're saying: “The continued increase in the number of firearms that travelers bring to airport checkpoints is deeply troubling,” said TSA administrator David Pekoske in a statement.

  • “There is a proper way to travel safely with a firearm. First and foremost, it should be unloaded. Then it should be packed in a hard-sided locked case, taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared, and checked," Pekoske said.

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International students turned away from U.S. as tensions with Iran grow

Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

An increasing number of Iranian students are being turned away from entry points when arriving at U.S. airports amid heated diplomatic tensions between the two nations, the New York Times reports.

What we know: Boston's Logan International Airport rejected an Iranian student, Shahab Dehghani, 24, on Monday, even though he had a valid student visa. The refusal sparked airport protests on the student's behalf. Although a petition for him to stay was eventually granted, Dehghani had already been sent back to Iran.

Go deeperArrowJan 22, 2020

"Sprawling winter storm" sweeps across Midwest toward the Northeast

A cross-country skier in Minneapolis on Jan. 16. Photo: Aaron Lavinskyi/Star Tribune via Getty Images

A "sprawling winter storm" that's creating hazardous travel conditions across the Midwest and Great Lakes region has caused at least one death, and it's set to spread the Northeast on Sunday, the National Weather Service warns.

What's happening: Frigid temperatures were set to sweep east into Sunday and Monday, with the coldest conditions in the Midwest, with heavy snow forecast across the Great Lakes and further north along with blizzard conditions in Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 19, 2020

Where 2020 Democrats stand on gun control

Warren and Biden on the debate stage on Jan. 14. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced a new gun reform bill on Thursday with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) that calls for raising the minimum age for all gun purchases to 21 and increasing the excise tax on gun sales to 30% and ammunition sales to 50%.

The big picture: 2019's mass shootings in El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Virginia Beach; and near Odessa, Texas, have pushed 2020 Democrats to take harder stances on gun control than in the last presidential election, when Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton only briefly addressed the issue in their primary debate.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy