LATROBE, Pa. - An Indiana, Pennsylvania, man was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport (LBE) on Thursday, May 30, when they detected a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag along with a folding knife.
TSA contacted the Westmoreland County Police, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and knife and detained the man for questioning before arresting him on weapons charges. The gun, a .380 caliber weapon, was loaded with six bullets.
Thursday’s gun catch marks the third gun caught at TSA checkpoint at LBE so far this year.
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% 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% had a bullet in the chamber.
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 their carry-on bags. If an individual is a TSA Pre✓® member, that person could even lose TSA Pre✓® status. In addition, TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,333 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 has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.