Over the past three years, passengers at US airports have surrendered a daily average of 14,000 potential weapons according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
The TSA says that despite intensifying concern about terrorism since the 9/11 attacks, the rate of finding such items is actually increasing, rising from about 11 potential weapons surrendered per 1,000 originating passengers in 2003 to more than 12 last year. The TSA said that smaller airports actually have far higher rates of weapons surrendered per originating passenger than do larger airports. But the biggest number of potential weapons is still confiscated at big airports because they have the most overall passengers.
Nearly 16m potential weapons have been surrendered at US airports during the three years from February 2002 to March 2005, since the TSA began taking over screening. Items classified as ‘weapons’ include 4.8m knives, 1,000 firearms, 7.8m ‘sharp objects,’ 1.6m prohibited tools, from chain saws to screwdrivers, nearly 69,000 replica weapon replicas, 55,000 box cutters and 41,000 containers of ammunition or gunpowder.