TSA discovers four firearms over two-day period in passenger carry-ons at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

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Local Press Release
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

SEATTLE - Officers with the Transportation Security Administration at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) discovered four loaded firearms during routine screening of carry-on bags over the past two days.

The first firearm - a 9 mm Ruger handgun loaded with seven rounds of ammunition - was detected Tuesday morning around 9 a.m. in the carry-on bag of a male passenger ticketed for travel to Boise, Idaho. Three hours later, TSA officers discovered another firearm in the carry-on of a male passenger traveling to Denver. It was a .380 caliber Smith & Wesson Bodyguard pistol loaded with five rounds of ammunition and an additional round in the chamber.

On Wednesday around 7 a.m., TSA officers discovered a Jennings 380 pistol loaded with six rounds with one in the chamber, in the carry-on bag belonging to a male passenger going to Houston. About an hour later, TSA officers found a 357 Ruger revolver loaded with six rounds and another in the chamber in the bag of a male passenger ticketed for travel to New Orleans.

On May 10, TSA discovered a loaded .380 caliber Kel-Tec PSAT firearm at SEA, bringing the total number of firearms discovered during the month of May at the security checkpoint to five. Since January 1, 2015, TSA has found 16 firearms at SEA in carry-on bags with the majority of them loaded. Nationwide in 2015, TSA has found more than 650 guns in carry-on bags at airport security checkpoints.

Firearms, ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas of firearms are always prohibited in carry-on baggage. However, these items can be transported in checked baggage provided the traveler declares them to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.

Firearms in checked baggage must be unloaded and stored in a locked, hard-sided container. TSA urges passengers to contact their airline for specific firearm and ammunition policies and to check local laws related to the carrying and transport of firearms.

Additional traveler information specifically related to the commercial air transport of firearms and ammunition can be found on the tsa.gov website on the traveling with firearms page. In addition to facing local or state criminal charges, TSA reserves the right to levy a civil penalty of up to $7,500 for bringing a dangerous weapon like a firearm to the checkpoint. Each penalty is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

TSA reminds passengers to be aware of the contents of their carry-on bag prior to coming to the security checkpoint. TSA has multiple resources available to passengers to help them determine whether an item is permitted in carry-on baggage, checked baggage or not at all. For more information about TSA prohibited items, please check the prohibited items list or use TSA's mobile app - myTSA.