TSA catches handgun at Syracuse Hancock International Airport Man claimed he didn’t know his gun was in his bag

Local Press Release
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
TSA officers caught this handgun at the SYR Airport checkpoint on September 23. (TSA photo)

SYRACUSE, NY – A Seneca County, New York, man was stopped after Transportation Security Administration officers at Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR) detected a .40 caliber handgun loaded with six bullets in his carry-on bag yesterday, September 23.  It marked the second gun caught at the airport’s checkpoint this year.

TSA officers, who spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, contacted the Syracuse Police, which arrived at the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and detained the man, a resident of Waterloo, New York, for questioning. The man told officials that he did not know that his revolver was in his carry-on bag.

“It is important to remember that regardless of whether an individual has a concealed firearm permit, no guns are permitted past security checkpoints,” said Bart Johnson, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Upstate New York. “Our TSA officers are good at their jobs and are actively seeking prohibited items to ensure a secure flight for passengers and crew.”

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 percent 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 percent 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. 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 $4,100. The complete list of penalties is posted online.

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.