MILWAUKEE, Wis.—The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered two loaded firearms at General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) at security screening checkpoints over a three-day period.
On Sunday, June 9, TSA detected a .22 caliber Ruger, loaded with nine rounds, during x-ray screening at one of the checkpoints. This morning, another passenger brought a .380 caliber Sig Sauer, loaded with eight rounds, in a carry-on bag. That firearm also was detected during x-ray screening. In both cases, an officer from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department responded, took possession of the firearms, and interviewed the passengers. Any determination about criminal charges is up to law enforcement.
“Under no circumstances should a passenger bring a firearm to an airport security checkpoint,” said TSA Wisconsin Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay. “We have recently posted additional signage prohibiting firearms at our checkpoints here to further educate passengers. Passengers who wish to travel with a firearm, permissible in a checked bag only, should check with their airline and review TSA’s rules before coming to the airport.”
Firearms can only be transported in a checked bag, if they are declared to the airline at the ticket counter and properly packed in a locked, hard-sided case.
TSA can assess a civil penalty of up to $13,333 per violation. Factors TSA considers when determining the civil penalty amount include whether the firearm was loaded. Individuals who violate rules regarding traveling with firearms will have Trusted Traveler status and TSA Pre✓® expedited screening benefits revoked for a period of time.
With these two catches, MKE has now found ten firearms at checkpoints so far this year. In 2018, TSA intercepted 11 total firearms at MKE checkpoints. TSA found a record-breaking 4,239 firearms--an average of 11.6 per day--at airport security checkpoints around the country in 2018, a 7 percent increase over 2017.