TSA officers detect two firearms at two Idaho airports in four days

Local Press Release
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

BOISE, Idaho - Officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered two firearms in the carry-on luggage of two travelers departing Idaho airports over the past few days. Both firearms were detected during the routine screening in the security checkpoint.

On Friday, July 5 at 8:55 a.m., a TSA officer working at Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA) discovered a loaded Taurus 9 mm G2C semi-automatic handgun in the carry-on of a male traveler ticketed for travel to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. The firearm was loaded with 12 rounds of ammunition.

On Monday, July 8 at 11:55 a.m., a TSA officer working at the Boise Airport (BOI) discovered a loaded Smith & Wesson M& P Shield 9 mm in the carry-on luggage of a male passenger headed to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The firearm was loaded with five rounds of ammunition.

In both cases, when the TSA officer saw the image of the firearm on the x-ray screen, airport law enforcement was notified and responded to the security checkpoint. The travelers were interviewed and the weapons were confiscated. The incidents have been referred to the Bonneville and Ada County prosecutor’s offices respectively for review.

“These two firearm discoveries a few days apart should serve as a reminder to all Idaho travelers to check the contents of your luggage prior to coming to the airport to ensure you don’t bring prohibited items to the security checkpoint,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Idaho Andy Coose, “Many of the items that are prohibited in carry-ons are allowed in checked luggage. Take a few minutes to pack properly - and legally - for your trip.”

TSA has discovered 11 firearms this year at Idaho airports including one at IDA and nine at BOI. On April 9, 2019, TSA at Magic Valley Regional Airport in Twin Falls, Idaho, discovered a loaded North American Arms Revolver in the carry-on bag of a traveler headed to Salt Lake City International Airport. Nationwide in 2019, TSA officers have discovered 2,243 firearms in carry-on luggage. Of that total, 1,953 were loaded with at least one round of ammunition.

TSA always reviews the circumstances of an incident and levies a civil penalty against the traveler who brought the firearm to the security checkpoint. The recommended civil penalty for a firearm starts at $2,000 and can go up to the statutory maximum of $13,333 per violation.

Factors TSA considers when determining the civil penalty amount include whether the firearm was loaded and whether there was accessible ammunition. TSA evaluates each incident on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to civil penalties, 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. The duration of the disqualification will depend upon the seriousness of the offense and if there is a repeated history of violations.

Firearms can be transported on a commercial aircraft only if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and placed in checked baggage. Ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames, receivers, clips and magazines are also prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be checked. Any type of replica firearm is prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be transported in checked luggage.

At the airport during the check-in process, a passenger needs to go to the airline ticket counter to declare the firearm, ammunition and any firearm parts. Prior to traveling, passengers are encouraged to check gun laws and regulations at their destination to ensure they are in compliance with local and state laws. TSA also recommends travelers check with their airline prior to their flight to ensure they comply with any airline-specific requirements.

TSA reminds passengers to be aware of the contents of their carry-on bag prior to coming to the security checkpoint. TSA has multiple resources available to passengers to help them determine whether an item is permitted in carry-on baggage, checked baggage or not at all.

Travelers can use the “Can I Bring?” feature on the TSA mobile app, myTSA, or visit  https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all. Travelers can also Tweet or Message “AskTSA” if they have a travel question or are unsure if an item is allowed through security in a carry-on bag. Just snap a picture or send a question and get real-time assistance.

Additional traveler information specifically related to the commercial air transport of firearms and ammunition can be found at http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition. More information on TSA’s civil penalties for prohibited items can be found at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/civil-enforcement.