Airline passengers are bringing guns to the airport in numbers never seen before, and it is a "huge problem," the Transportation Security Administration chief told CNN.
Security and law enforcement officials are at the same time dealing with an unprecedented surge in belligerent passengers who are straining the systems designed to keep air travel safe.
"We've had many more incidences where there are passenger disturbances both in checkpoints and onboard aircraft. That makes it more important that there are no guns involved," TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in an interview.
TSA reports catching 4,650 firearms at checkpoints in the first 10 months of the year -- a majority of which were loaded. That number surpasses the full-year record of 4,432, set in 2019.