PITTSBURGH – A Mississippi man was cited by airport police after he was caught by Transportation Security Administration officers at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) with a loaded gun in his carry-on bag on Wednesday, Dec. 19.
The man, a contractor who works for a nearby West Virginia firm, was ticketed to fly home when he was stopped at the checkpoint with the .45 caliber handgun, which was loaded with 13 bullets, including one in the chamber. It marked the 35th handgun stopped at one of the airport’s checkpoints so far this calendar year and seven within the last 30 days. In 2017, TSA officers at PIT Airport caught 37 firearms at the checkpoint.
TSA contacted the Allegheny County Police, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and detained the man for questioning before citing him on weapons charges. He told officials that he forgot that he had his loaded handgun with him. The man also faces a civil penalty from TSA for bringing the gun 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.
Even travelers with concealed carry permits are not allowed to bring guns past TSA checkpoints.
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’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.