WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Airport security officers found about four firearms per day at checkpoints last year and many of them were loaded, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said.
TSA personnel found 1,238 firearms at security checkpoints in 2010, up 54 percent from 2007, according to agency data.
Many of the weapons were found loaded with rounds in the chamber. Most passengers said they forgot they had a gun in their bag, according to a TSA blog on 2011 highlights.
In one week this year, agents found 14 loaded and five unloaded handguns in carry-on luggage, according to another TSA blog.
They also have discovered a speargun, a live teargas grenade, inert hand grenades and four knives in a single bag.
A TSA spokesman declined to comment on a reason for the increased number of firearms.
TSA Administrator John Pistole told Congress in November: "Clearly just the fact that we are getting four to five guns every day indicates that there are people who are not focused on the security protocols."
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Greg McCune)