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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Why it matters: The latest twist in the years-long fight over the pipeline is a defeat for the White House agenda of advancing fossil fuel projects and a win for Native Americans and environmentalists who oppose the project