TSA officer at Bismarck Airport discovers loaded firearm Monday morning

Local Press Release
Monday, May 8, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. – A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer at Bismarck Airport (BIS) prevented a male passenger from bringing a loaded Smith and Wesson .380 semiautomatic pistol onto a flight to Denver on Monday, May 8.

The passenger was stopped about 8 a.m. at the security checkpoint when a TSA officer, who was conducting routine screening of the travelers’ carry-on property, saw the image of a firearm on the X-ray screen. TSA notified the Bismarck Police department and a police officer removed the firearm from the security checkpoint.

The firearm was loaded with seven rounds including one in the chamber. The passenger was not cited by law enforcement, but TSA will levy a civil penalty against the passenger for his actions.

This is the third time this year a passenger has brought a firearm to the BIS security checkpoint in carry-on baggage. Statewide, TSA officers have discovered a total of six firearms at North Dakota security checkpoints including two at Sloulin Field International Airport in Williston, N.D., and one at Hector International Airport in Fargo, N.D.

“Firearms should never be transported in carry-on baggage. They should also travel and be properly packed, in checked luggage,” said David Durgan, Federal Security Director for North Dakota. “The rules for traveling with firearms are not new and passengers will be held accountable for the contents of their baggage.”

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 the possibility of 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 TSA.gov.