Officials: Increase in airport gun confiscation, 4 arrested at Midway

ABC 7 I-Team Investigation
CHICAGO (WLS) -- There is a surge in the number of air travelers trying to carry guns on-board commercial jetliners. Authorities said it's happened four times this month alone at Chicago Midway Airport.

There is a gun glut at airport security checkpoints in Chicago and across the U.S. There were record-breaking national numbers in each of the last 20 years.

As Homeland Security officials move to keep weapons off of airplanes headed to the U.S., authorities are faced with a sharply increasing number of firearms being intercepted at airport checkpoints in the U.S.

Ten days ago at Midway Airport, an 81-year old woman was arrested with a loaded 38 revolver in her carry-on bag. She was heading to Indianapolis.

On Thursday, a loaded nine millimeter pistol was found in the carry-on bag of a 41-year-old Indiana man, J. Jones, headed to Phoenix. He too was arrested according to Chicago police.

Last Monday at Midway, it was a nine millimeter Beretta with two magazine clips in the handbag of an Albuquerque-bound man.

Earlier this month a loaded Smith and Wesson was discovered in a bag on the x-ray belt. It belonged to a 59-year old man headed to Nashville.

All were arrested by Chicago police.

Those unrelated cases are Chicago examples of a surge in confiscations at U.S. airports.

In 2016 the Transportation Security Administration discovered almost 3,400 guns in carry-ons at checkpoints, which was a 28 percent hike from the year before-about nine guns seized each day.

The past five years there has been steady growth in gun seizures, most of them loaded.

It's not just guns either. TSA officers find lots of knives and swords, grenades and martial arts gear.
Federal officials said most times the passengers don't know they left these things in their carry-on bags, or at least claim they forgot.
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