Colorado Springs, Colo. — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered a loaded firearm this morning at the security screening checkpoint at Colorado Springs Airport (COS).
The firearm, a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson MP40 loaded with 16 rounds, was discovered by TSA Transportation Security Officers during X-ray screening of a passenger’s carry-on bag at the checkpoint. The Colorado Springs Police responded, interviewed the passenger, and took possession of their weapon. The passenger was later allowed to continue.
“This is the 10th firearm we’ve found so far this year at Colorado Springs, which already exceeds the total of nine we found there in all of 2017,” said Colorado TSA Federal Security Director Larry Nau. “Passengers can travel with firearms in checked bags, if they follow the packing and declaration rules, but they can’t bring them to a checkpoint.”
TSA officers call the police when a passenger brings a firearm to an airport security checkpoint. Any determination about a criminal charge is up to law enforcement. TSA has the ability to assess a civil penalty of up to $13,000. The average civil penalty for a loaded firearm is $3,900, half that amount for an unloaded one.
Firearms can be transported in checked bags, if declared to the airline and properly packed in a locked, hard-sided container. Ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas also cannot be carried through any TSA security checkpoint, but can travel in checked bags. Some airline policies for taking a firearm in a checked bag may differ from TSA’s, so we strongly suggest travelers contact their airline for specific firearm and ammunition policies and to check local laws related to the carrying and transport of firearms.
TSA found a record-breaking 3,957 firearms at airport security checkpoints around the country in 2017, a 17 percent increase over 2016.
For more information, visit the TSA website.