NEWARK, N.J. – A Carbon County, Pennsylvania, man was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport yesterday, February 1, after a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer detected a loaded pistol in the traveler’s jacket.
A TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray monitor detected the .38 caliber handgun inside a pocket of the man’s jacket as it entered the X-ray machine. The gun was loaded with five bullets.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Port Authority Police Department, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and arrested the man, a resident of Palmerton, Pennsylvania, on state weapons charges. The Lehigh Valley area resident was traveling with family members at the time of his arrest.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Ammunition must be in its original box and can be packed inside the hard-side case, next to the firearm. Even if the box of ammunition is not full, the bullets must be in their original case. Then the case with the firearm should be brought to the airline check-in counter and the airline representative informed that the passenger wants to travel with the gun. Firearms are transported inside checked baggage and are placed in the belly of the aircraft. TSA’s website has details on how to properly travel with a firearm.
It is important to note that firearm owners with concealed carry permits are still not allowed to carry their guns onto airplanes or past airport checkpoints.
As a reminder, individuals who bring weapons to a checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. The complete list of penalties is posted online.