EAST ELMHURST, N.Y. – A Florida man was caught trying to carry a loaded gun past the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at LaGuardia Airport on July Fourth, the second gun catch within a five-day span at the busy New York airport.
TSA officers detected the gun as the man, a resident of Brevard County, Florida, entered the TSA checkpoint and placed his carry-on items on the X-ray conveyor belt. TSA officers spotted the .38 caliber gun loaded with five bullets and immediately contacted the Port Authority Police who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and arrested the man on weapons charges.
The Titusville, Florida, man told officials that he had driven to New York from Florida with the gun and forgot that he still had his loaded gun with him when he came to the airport.
Five days earlier, on June 30, TSA officers also detected a gun in the carry-on bag of a Connecticut man at one of the LaGuardia Airport checkpoints.
Tuesday’s gun catch marked the third time this year that a traveler was arrested for bringing a gun to a LaGuardia Airport checkpoint. Two guns were detected at the airport’s checkpoints in all of 2016.
As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. In addition, TSA has the authority to access civil penalties of up to $12,000. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,000.
TSA’s website has details on how to properly travel with a firearm. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.