EL PASO, TX — The Transportation Security Administration discovered a loaded firearm at the TSA security screening checkpoint at El Paso International Airport (ELP) on Saturday, Jan. 30.
At approximately 8 a.m., TSA detected a loaded .40 caliber Kahr firearm in a passenger’s carry-on bag during X-ray screening at the security checkpoint. It was loaded with five rounds. Per standard procedure, TSA alerted law enforcement. The El Paso Police Department responded, took possession of the weapon and interviewed the passenger, who was later allowed to rebook a flight.
“Passengers are reminded that firearms and ammunition, along with firearm parts and realistic replicas, cannot be carried through any TSA security checkpoint,” said TSA Spokesperson Carrie Harmon. “These items are only allowed in checked bags, if declared to the airline and properly packed in a locked, hard-sided container.”
This is the first firearm found at ELP this year. Last year, seven firearms were found at the checkpoint. Nationwide, TSA officers found 2,653 firearms in carry-on bags at airports in 2015, which is a 20 percent increase over 2014.
TSA has the authority to levy a civil penalty of up to $11,000 against a passenger who brings a firearm to the checkpoint. The average penalty for a loaded firearm is $3,000, and $1,500 for an unloaded firearm. Any determination about a criminal charge is up to law enforcement.
For more information on firearms and other prohibited items discovered by TSA in 2015, please visit The TSA Blog. For more information about TSA prohibited items, please check the prohibited items list and traveling with firearms.