First gun caught at the airport in 2018
EAST ELMHURST, N.Y. – A Texas man who drove to the New York area, was trying to fly home when a Transportation Security Administration officer caught the man with a handgun in his carry-on bag at LaGuardia Airport earlier on April 27.
The man told TSA officials that he did not know that he had his gun with him. The gun, which was not loaded, was inside a knapsack along with a double stacked magazine loaded with 12 bullets.
TSA officers detected the gun as the man entered the TSA checkpoint and placed his carry-on items on the X-ray conveyor belt. TSA officers spotted the 9mm handgun and immediately contacted the Port Authority Police who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and arrested the man on weapons charges.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and localities. New York City has some of the strictest firearm laws in the nation, and firearm owners are urged to check with the city to make sure that they are not violating any laws prior to arriving at the airport.
As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. In addition, TSA has the authority to access 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.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on TSA.gov. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.