BOISE, Idaho - Officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Boise Airport (BOI) discovered two guns at the security checkpoint within a five-hour period Sunday during routine screening of carry-on baggage. This comes on the heels of two other firearm discoveries in the past week at Idaho airports.
The first firearm on Sunday at BOI was found at approximately 10 a.m. It was an unloaded .22 caliber North American Arms Magnum in the carry-on bag of a male passenger ticketed for travel to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
The second firearm – a Ruger .380 semi-automatic pistol - was detected at approximately 3 p.m. in the carry-on of a female passenger headed to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. It was loaded with six rounds of ammunition.
Also over the weekend, TSA officers at Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA) discovered a loaded Ruger 9 mm pistol in the carry-on bag of a male passenger traveling to Salt Lake City International Airport Saturday morning. In a separate incident last Wednesday morning, TSA officers at BOI discovered a loaded Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380. The passenger was ticketed for travel to John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California.
“I want to send out a sincere request to all gun owners in Idaho who are considering traveling by air: Please check your luggage with the airlines and all your belongings before coming to the airport to ensure you do not have a weapon with you!” said TSA’s Federal Security Director for Idaho Andy Coose. “There are legal and acceptable ways to take a firearm on a plane in checked luggage. However, we are too often seeing people with guns in carryon luggage. This poses a significant safety hazard to passengers, airline employees and others. It can also result in stiff financial penalties, fines or even prosecution. So please be careful and check all your stuff before you head to the airport to make sure there are no guns on your person or in your accessible property.”
When a TSA officer sees the image of a firearm on the X-ray screen, TSA immediately notifies a law enforcement officer who is assigned to the airport. Law enforcement responds to the checkpoint and questions the passenger.
The three firearms caught at BOI in the past week bring the 2017 total to eight. In all of 2016, TSA at BOI found 16 guns. This is the first firearm of 2017 at IDA. In 2016, TSA discovered two guns at IDA.
Nationwide in the first 70 days of 2017, TSA officers have found more than 685 firearms at the security checkpoint. In all of 2016, TSA discovered 3,391 at the checkpoint.
Firearms, ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas of firearms are always prohibited in carry-on baggage. However, these items can be transported in checked baggage provided the traveler declares them to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.
Firearms in checked baggage must be unloaded and stored in a locked, hard-sided container. TSA urges passengers to contact their airline for specific firearm and ammunition policies and to check local laws related to the carrying and transport of firearms.
In addition to facing local or state criminal charges, TSA reserves the right to levy a civil penalty of up to $7,500 for bringing a dangerous weapon like a firearm to the checkpoint. Each penalty is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
TSA reminds passengers to be aware of the contents of their carry-on bag prior to coming to the security checkpoint. TSA has multiple resources available to passengers to help them determine whether an item is permitted in carry-on baggage, checked baggage or not at all. For more information, visit the Prohibited Items page on tsa.gov. or use TSA's mobile app - myTSA.
The myTSA app allows a traveler to enter the name of an item and the app will provide information on how to transport that item on board an aircraft. You can download myTSA app on iTunes or Google Play. The same information can also be accessed via any web browser at tsa.gov/mobile.