WASHINGTON (WDVM) — In 2021, TSA officers have found a record number of firearms at airport security checkpoints.

As of Oct. 3 TSA has stopped 4,495 passengers trying to board a plane with a gun. This establishes a 20-year record with three months remaining in the calendar year and fewer passengers traveling due to the pandemic. TSA officers discovered 11 firearms in carry-on bags at airport checkpoints per million passengers screened so far in 2021. This compares to 5 firearms per million passengers in 2019.

“Actually, the police remove the carry-on bag from the x-ray machines, because we don’t even want our TSA officers to handle the firearms because that’s just an accident waiting to happen,” said Lisa Farbstein, spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration.

Passengers may travel with firearms in checked baggage when they are unloaded and packed in a locked, hard-sided case. Visit the TSA website for details on how to properly travel with a firearm.