New York– The number of travellers attempting to pass through US airport security checkpoints with firearms hit a record high in 2021, even as air travel languished below pre-pandemic levels.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has stopped travellers carrying more than 5,700 firearms at US airports since the beginning of 2021, far surpassing the previous record of 4,432 firearms in 2019. About 85 per cent of the firearms found in 2021 were loaded, Xinhua news agency reported.
The surge in gun discoveries came even though travel demand remained about 25 per cent below the pre-pandemic pace of 2019, according to the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
“The increase is probably tied to a jump in overall US gun sales since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Xinhua reported citing the daily newspaper covering a large portion of central and eastern Maine.
In total, nearly 3 million more guns were sold between March and July of 2020 than would have ordinarily been sold during those months, according to a July 2020 report by the Brookings Institute, a Washington think tank. (IANS)