NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man was arrested by police for bringing a loaded handgun to Newark Liberty International Airport on Saturday morning, Dec. 19, after Transportation Security Administration officers detected the gun in his carry-on bag.
TSA officers detected the .38 caliber handgun, loaded with six bullets, as the man was passing through a Newark airport checkpoint. The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the handgun in the Orange, New Jersey, man’s carry-on bag as it passed along the conveyor belt.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Port Authority Police Department, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and arrested the man on a state weapons charge. He was ticketed to fly to Houston. There was no impact to airport operations.
It was the second loaded gun that TSA officers have stopped at a Newark checkpoint so far this month. A loaded .25 caliber gun was caught by TSA officers on Dec. 5.
As a reminder, weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags. Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA of up to $11,000.
Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint, and TSA’s advice to passengers is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.