Woman arrested by police after TSA catches her with loaded gun at Boston Logan International Airport checkpoint

Local Press Release
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
TSA officers detected this handgun in the carry-on bag of a traveler ticketed to fly out of Boston Logan International Airport on Jan. 19. (TSA photo)

BOSTON – A little less than three weeks into the new year, Transportation Security Administration officers at Boston Logan International Airport caught their first gun of 2020 at oe of the airport checkpoints.

The TSA officers stopped an Alabama woman from bringing a .22 caliber handgun loaded with six bullets onto an airplane on Sunday, Jan. 19, when they spotted it as the woman’s belongings entered the X-ray machine. They contacted the Massachusetts State Police, who confiscated the handgun and detained the woman for questioning prior to arresting her on weapons charges.

Even travelers with concealed firearm permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes in their carry-on bags. Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.

Nationwide last year, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 12.1 firearms per day, approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018. Eighty-seven percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded.

Firearms caught in 2017

Firearms caught

in 2018

Firearms caught in 2019

Firearms caught

in 2020

(as of 1-21-20)






As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. If an individual is a TSA Pre✓® member, then that person could even lose 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 $4,100. The complete list of penalties is posted online.

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