NEWARK, N.J. – A Sussex County, New Jersey, man was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport on Saturday, February 4, after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers detected a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the traveler’s carry-on bag.
TSA officers detected the 9 mm handgun among the man’s carry-on items as he entered one of the airport checkpoints. The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the handgun as it passed along the conveyor belt. It was loaded with six bullets, including one in the chamber.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Port Authority Police Department, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and arrested the man on state weapons charges.
The man, a resident of Sparta, N.J., told officials that he did not know how the gun got into the bag.
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 $12,000.
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.