BUFFALO, N.Y. – Two local women were caught by Transportation Security Administration officers with loaded guns at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport checkpoint within four days of each other this week.
Earlier today, March 11, a Niagara County woman was caught with a .38 caliber handgun loaded with five bullets. The woman, a resident of Cambria, N.Y., had the gun tucked into her handbag. The gun was confiscated by police. Four days earlier, on March 7, a Jefferson County woman was stopped at the checkpoint as she tried to pass with a handgun in her carry-on bag. The woman, a resident of Dexter, N.Y., had a .380 caliber gun loaded with six bullets. It also was confiscated.
TSA officers at Buffalo detected two firearms at the airport checkpoint during all 12 months of 2015.
In each instance this week, TSA officers contacted the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearms and cited the women on local weapons charges. There was no impact to airport operations in either instance.
As a reminder, firearms, firearm parts and ammunition are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline. Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA of up to $11,000.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.