BUFFALO, N.Y. – A Genesee County, New York, man was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport checkpoint Friday when they spotted him with a loaded semi-automatic handgun.
As the man began the checkpoint screening process, a TSA officer spotted the .380 caliber handgun in the man’s carry-on bag via the checkpoint X-ray machine. The gun was loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber.
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police were contacted, responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and cited the Batavia, New York, resident on local weapons charges. There was no impact to airport operations.
“Carrying a loaded handgun to an airport checkpoint is unacceptable, and should not happen,” said Bart Johnson, TSA federal security director for upstate New York. “This incident once again highlights the importance of what TSA officers do every day in the protection of the travelling public.”
As a reminder, firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline. Individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA of up to $12,000.
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.