DETROIT – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers intercepted three firearms on Thursday, August 22, in carry-on bags at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.
One firearm was an unloaded .357 caliber revolver with five rounds of loose ammunition, the second was an unloaded .40 caliber and the third was a loaded 9 mm. In all instances, the TSA officers detected the firearms while carry-ons were being screened in the X-ray machine and immediately contacted airport police.
So far this year, TSA officers at DTW have stopped 27 firearms from getting onto airplanes. In 2018, 70 firearms were discovered.
“When our officers start their shifts, they don’t know what kind of prohibited items could be coming their way,” said Detroit’s Federal Security Director Steve Lorincz. “I’m proud of how our officers always remain focused and adaptive no matter what adversity they face.”
When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the security lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. Passengers are never permitted to travel with firearms in carry-on bags.
Passengers may only travel with a firearm in a checked bag if they properly pack and declare it to the airline. In checked bags, firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.
As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint, even if they have a concealed firearm permit, are subject to criminal charges from law enforcement. If an individual is a TSA Pre✓® member, they could even lose their 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 $4,000. The complete list of penalties is posted online.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on online. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.
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.