CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Transportation Security Administration officers working at Charlotte Douglas International Airport stopped two passengers with guns on Sunday and Monday of this week, increasing the total number of guns caught at the airport’s checkpoints to 62 so far this calendar year. In 2016, TSA officers stopped 54 guns, and with one month to go in the year, already the TSA officers have caught more guns than they did in 12 full months of 2016.
On Sunday, December 3, a Grover, North Carolina, resident was stopped with a gun when the TSA officer who was staffing the X-ray monitor spotted the .380 caliber gun loaded with six bullets in the man’s carry-on bag. The very next day, Monday, December 4, a Denver, North Carolina, woman was caught with her gun when the TSA officer who was at the X-ray monitor spotted a .22 caliber gun that was loaded with three bullets in her carry-on bag. The two incidents are not believed to be related.
In each instance, TSA officials notified the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the guns, detained the individuals for questioning and cited each on a state weapons charge.
“There is a right way to travel with a firearam and a wrong way. The right way is to bring it to the airline check-in counter unloaded in a locked hard-sided case so it travels with checked luggage. The wrong way is to bring it to a checkpoint. Never bring a gun to a checkpoint,” said Kevin Frederick, TSA’s Federal Security Director for North Carolina. “The TSA officers at Charlotte are highly skilled, as evidenced by these gun catches. However, we would rather that people pack their guns properly for travel or leave them home.”
TSA Firearms Caught at CLT
|Number of Firearms Caught in 2015||Number of Firearms Caught in 2016||Number of Firearms to Date in 2017|
Charlotte Douglas International Airport
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 $13,066. The first offense is typically a $3,920 citation from TSA.
Individuals are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint, and TSA’s advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure and they should ensure that they have the proper firearm permit for the state in which they are traveling.
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.