BUFFALO, N.Y. – An East Amherst man was cited by police after Transportation Security Administration officers stopped him from bringing a loaded semi-automatic handgun onto an airplane at Buffalo-Niagara International Airport Friday, April 20.
The East Amherst, New York, resident was caught with a .380 caliber handgun in one of his carry-on bags. It was loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber.
When the TSA officer spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police were contacted, responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and cited the man on weapons charges. There was no impact to airport operations.
“Bringing a loaded firearm to the airport checkpoint is both dangerous and illegal,” TSA’s upstate New York Federal Security Director Bart R. Johnson said. “Even travelers who have a permit to carry a firearm are not to be bringing their weapons to checkpoints. Instead, they should be packing them in accordance with proper regulations and declaring them to the airline for placement in the cargo hold.”
Wednesday’s gun catch was the second gun caught at the airport checkpoint so far this year. In 2017, TSA officers detected three firearms in carry-on bags at the airport.
TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,000 for weapons at the airport. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. The complete list of penalties is posted online. 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.