More Firearms in Airport Security Checks; Atlanta, Dallas Lead the Way


People increasingly are caught at airport security checkpoints with firearms in their carry-on bags. The New York Times says that nowhere does this happen more often than at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, the nation's busiest airport and a magnet of sorts for gun-carrying fliers. Through last week, the Transportation Security Administration had seized 67 guns this year in Atlanta, giving the airport a comfortable lead over Dallas-Fort Worth International. Nationwide, agents seized 862 through the first half of 2013, a rate likely to eclipse last year's record of 1,556.

In June, William Henry Murphy III, the bishop of an Atlanta church and a frequent flier, rushed through packing in what he called a stressful period. He had arrived home from ministering at 2:30 a.m. with the 9-millimeter handgun his church board advises him to carry as a late-night safety measure. “I didn't go through my normal routine; the bag I carry at church on a day-to-day basis was thrown into my carry-on without me repacking,” he said. He was arrested at the airport and jailed.

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