TSA detects loaded firearm in passenger’s carry-on bag at San Luis Obispo Regional Airport

This is the third firearm discovered in 2019
Local Press Release
Thursday, September 5, 2019

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – An officer with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at San Luis Obispo Regional Airport (SBP) discovered a loaded firearm in the carry-on bag of a male traveler ticketed for travel to Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday morning, Sept. 3, 2019.

The firearm, a 9 mm Glock 27, was discovered around 6:45 a.m. during the routine screening of carry-on luggage in the security checkpoint. TSA immediately notified the San Luis Obispo Airport Police and they responded to the security checkpoint. They interviewed the traveler and confiscated the weapon. The traveler was allowed to continue on his flight.

“This firearm discovery is a reminder of the important role our Transportation Security Officers play in preventing guns and other security threats from making it onto an aircraft,” said TSA Federal Security Director Anita Minaei. “TSA will continue to remain focused on our responsibilities while maintaining efficient and effective security operations.”

TSA will review the circumstances of the incident and levy 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 more than $10,000 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.

Through the end of August, TSA has discovered more than 2,800 firearms in travelers’ carry-on luggage this year. This is the third firearm discovery at SBP in 2019. 

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.