Sky Harbor Airport ranks among top airports for gun catches so far in 2021

A troubling carry-on item -- weapons -- is becoming more popular, as more of them are being found by TSA agents at America's airports.

The number of weapons found in luggage was made public this week, with TSA officials saying they are setting records with the number of guns this year at checkpoints all over the country, including at Sky Harbor. TSA agents already have 155 gun catches at Sky Harbor so far in 2021, up from 124 in 2020.

While 2020 saw fewer travels as a result of the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, numbers so far in 2021 are also higher than those from the pre-pandemic years on 2019 and 2018, which stood at 132 and 129, respectively. Overall, Sky Harbor ranked fourth in the country for gun catches.

Top TSA officials called the record-breaking numbers across the country alarming.

"I really can't tell you why. What I can tell you is that we're seeing more liberal gun laws in some states. As a result, people may assume that because they can take their gun to the grocery store, they can take it to the airport. I'm not really sure. We're working hard to educate people about this phenomenon," said TSA Spokerson Patricia Mancha.

Bringing a gun in a carry-on bag can come with a hefty fine. Meanwhile, travellers have varying thoughts.

"Well I almost did that myself," said one traveller. "I usually carry my pistol right here in my computer bag right here, and I almost forgot to leave it at home, but I also double-checked to make sure because I don't want any trouble at the airport."

"I feel like it's hard to forget that you can't take a weapon on a plane! That's all I'll say about that," said another traveller.

With the holiday travel season starting soon, those numbers could go up.

TSA information on transporting firearms and ammunition

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