NEWARK, N.J. – A Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, man was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport this morning (Feb. 28) after a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer detected a loaded pistol in the traveler’s carry-on bag.
A TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint x-ray monitor detected the .25 caliber handgun as the carry-on bag entered the x-ray machine. The gun was loaded with seven bullets. Two additional loaded magazines also were with the handgun.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Port Authority Police Department, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and arrested the man, a resident of Center Valley, Pennsylvania, on state weapons charges.
It marked the second handgun that TSA officers at Newark have stopped at checkpoints this month. Officers stopped a .38 caliber handgun at one of the airport checkpoints on Feb. 1.
It is important to note that firearm owners with concealed carry permits are not allowed to carry their guns onto airplanes or past airport checkpoints.
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 has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website online.
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 at TSA.gov.