EAST ELMHURST, N.Y. – A Connecticut man was arrested on state weapons charges after he was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at a LaGuardia Airport checkpoint yesterday, April 28, with a loaded gun.
TSA officers detected the firearm, a .38 caliber handgun, in the man’s laptop bag as he was passing through the airport checkpoint. It was loaded with six bullets. The man, a resident of Fairfield County, Conn., told TSA officers that he forgot he had the gun with him.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Port Authority Police, which responded and confiscated the gun and arrested the man, a resident of Monroe, Conn. There was no impact to airport operations.
This incident serves as a reminder that 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.
Weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are properly packed. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.
Passengers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA 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 the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.
TSA screens approximately 2 million passengers and their luggage every day for prohibited items, including weapons and explosives. To do this, TSA uses imaging technology to safely screen passengers for any items which may be concealed under clothing, while X-ray units screen all carry-on baggage.