BOSTON – A New Hampshire resident was arrested by police after Transportation Security Administration officers stopped him from bringing a loaded semi-automatic handgun onto an airplane at Boston Logan International Airport earlier today, Monday, Feb. 25.
The Salem, New Hampshire, man was caught with a 9mm handgun in one of his carry-on bags. It was loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber.
When the TSA officer spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, the Massachusetts State Police were contacted, responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and arrested the man on weapons charges. There was no impact to airport operations.
Monday’s gun catch marked the first gun caught at the airport checkpoint so far this calendar year. In 2018, TSA officers detected 21 firearms in carry-on bags at the airport.
In total, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country last year, averaging about 11.6 firearms per day, approximately a 7 percent increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 3,957 detected in 2017. Eighty-six percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded and nearly 34 percent had a bullet in the chamber.
Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA. Even if a traveler has a concealed weapon permit, firearms are not permitted to be carried onto an airplane. However, travelers with proper firearm permits can travel legally with their firearms in their checked bags if they follow a few simple guidelines.
TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,000 for weapons at the airport. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. The complete list of penalties is posted online. 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.