BOISE, Idaho - Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Boise Airport have discovered three loaded firearms in the past three days during the routine screening of carry-on luggage belonging to departing travelers.
On Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 5:40 a.m., a TSA officer found a .45 caliber Smith & Wesson M&P pistol loaded with six rounds in the carry-on bag belonging to a male passenger ticketed for travel to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. On Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 8:30 a.m., a .40 caliber Glock 23 firearm loaded with 11 rounds was discovered in the carry-on luggage belonging to a male passenger traveling to Salt Lake City International Airport. Today at 5:15 a.m., a TSA officer discovered a 9 mm LH9-MKII semiautomatic pistol loaded with 13 rounds in the carry-on baggage belonging to a male passenger headed to Denver International Airport.
In each instance, when the image of the firearm appeared on the X-ray screen, TSA notified officers with the Boise Police Department, who responded to the security checkpoint.
“With Thanksgiving behind us, ‘tis the season for lights, tinsel and fruitcake, all of which TSA screens during the month of December. However, TSA wants to remind passengers to ‘check their list twice’ and leave firearms out of their carry-on bags when preparing to fly,” said Andy Coose, TSA Federal Security Director for Idaho. “One gun in carry-on luggage is one too many. With the discovery of three firearms in three days at Boise Airport, it is a stark reminder to follow rules for traveling with a firearm to make sure it is a happy and safe holiday season.”
TSA officers have now discovered 22 firearms in travelers’ carry-on luggage at Boise Airport this year. In 2017, TSA discovered 29 firearms at the security checkpoint; 18 were discovered in 2016.
Firearms, ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas of firearms are always prohibited in carry-on baggage. However, these items can be transported in checked baggage provided the traveler declares them to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.
Firearms in checked baggage must be unloaded and stored in a locked, hard-sided container. TSA urges passengers to contact their airline for specific firearm and ammunition policies and to check local laws related to the carrying and transport of firearms.
If a passenger brings a firearm to the TSA security checkpoint, TSA will levy a civil penalty against the passenger. The recommended civil penalty starts at $4,000 and can be as high as $13,333. The factors TSA considers when determining the civil penalty amount include whether the firearm was loaded and whether there was accessible ammunition. TSA evaluates each incident on a case-by-case basis.
Individuals who violate the rules above will have their trusted traveler status and TSA Pre✓® expedited screening benefits revoked for a period of time. The duration of the disqualification will depend upon the seriousness of the offense and if there is a repeated history of violations.
All three incidents have been referred to the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney for review.
TSA reminds passengers to be aware of the contents of their carry-on bag prior to coming to the security checkpoint. TSA’s website has additional traveler information specifically related to the transport of firearms and ammunition.