BOSTON – Transportation Security Administration officers at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) stopped a Norfolk County, Massachusetts, man from bringing a loaded handgun onto an airplane yesterday, Sunday, March 31. It marked the fourth gun caught at the airport so far this year. Three of the four were detected during March.
TSA officers, who spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, contacted the Massachusetts State Police, who arrived at the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and detained the man, a resident of Weymouth, Massachusetts, for questioning before they allowed him to leave the airport to take the gun home and rebook his flight. The man was carrying a .22-caliber handgun loaded with 10 bullets including one in the chamber.
Last year TSA officers detected 21 firearms at the Boston airport’s checkpoints. Nationwide last year, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, 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.
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As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. Even travelers with concealed firearm permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes. In addition, TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,000 for weapons violations. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. The complete list of penalties is posted online.
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.