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Federal airport screeners still find four to five guns at checkpoints on a typical day, the Transportation Security Administration’s chief told a Senate hearing Wednesday.

“Yesterday we found six, including one at … Bradley (airport in Connecticut) — a loaded gun with seven rounds in it, in a checked bag that (a passenger) was trying to get through,” Administrator John Pistole said.

Passengers typically say they forgot the weapon was in their bag, TSA officials said. But in one recent case, a passenger at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport tried to board a plane with two pistols, three ammunition magazines, eight knives and a hand saw in a carry-on bag, the TSA said. That passenger was arrested by local law enforcement.

More than 900 guns have been recovered at checkpoints this year, the TSA says.

At a wide-ranging Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing, Pistole mentioned the Connecticut gun find as evidence of the effectiveness of the agency. Pistole also touted his program to expedite screening for trusted travelers, full-body scanners which can find nonmetallic items and “Behavior Detection Officers,” some of whom now question passengers in an effort to ferret out terrorists.


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