PITTSBURGH – Two Pennsylvania men were caught with loaded guns in their carry-on bags by Transportation Security Administration officers within a two-day period. A Bethel Park man was stopped with his handgun yesterday and a Pittsburgh resident was caught with his loaded handgun this morning when each individual arrived at the security checkpoint.
Guns are not permitted on airplanes and as such are not allowed to be carried past TSA’s security checkpoints. Even travelers with concealed carry permits are not allowed to bring guns past TSA checkpoints.
The Bethel Park man had a 9 mm handgun loaded with 12 bullets when he came to the checkpoint on Wednesday, December 12. He told TSA officials that he travels with valuables and prefers to carry a gun with him. He claimed that he forgot that he had his loaded gun with him when he arrived for his flight. The man from Pittsburgh was also in possession of a 9 mm handgun loaded with three bullets when he came to the checkpoint early this morning, Thursday, December 13. He also claimed that he forgot that he had a loaded gun with him.
n each instance, TSA contacted the Allegheny County Police, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearms and detained the men for questioning. Each individual faces a civil penalty from TSA for bringing the guns to the checkpoint. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. The complete list of penalties is posted online.
When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. Guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.
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.