ALLENTOWN, Pa. – A Bucks County, Pennsylvania, man was stopped by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) yesterday, July 26, when they detected a loaded gun in the man’s carry-on bag. The Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania, resident was stopped at the checkpoint with the gun, which was loaded with nine bullets, including one in the chamber.
It marked the third gun stopped at the checkpoint within the past 10 days. An Allentown man was caught with a 9 mm gun on July 23, and a Fogelsville, Pennsylvania, resident also was caught with a 9 mm gun on July 17.
In 2017, TSA officers at ABE caught four firearms at the checkpoint during all 12 months of the year. So far in 2018, six firearms have been caught this year with five months still remaining on the calendar.
When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. With the busy travel season in full swing, guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.
As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. Even travelers with concealed carry permits are not allowed to bring guns past TSA checkpoints. 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’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.