IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Idaho Falls Regional Airport discovered a loaded firearm in the carry-on luggage of female traveler ticketed for travel to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Thursday evening.
Around 7:20 p.m. during the routine screening of carry-on luggage, a TSA officer spotted the image of a handgun on the x-ray screen. TSA immediately notified airport law enforcement, which responded to the security checkpoint.
The firearm – a Ruger LCP .380 ACP – was loaded with six rounds of ammunition. This is the first firearm discovered in carry-on luggage at IDA in 2020. Last year, TSA officers discovered two firearms at the security checkpoint.
“The discovery of a gun in a passenger’s carry on at Idaho Falls Airport is a reminder in the new year that everyone who plans to fly should pay close attention when they pack and leave for the airport,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Idaho Andy Coose. “Leave any firearm at home that you have not properly unloaded, packed and locked into a checked bag for transportation. Safe and approved methods for flying with guns can be found on your airline’s website.”
TSA will review the circumstances of the incident and levy a civil penalty against the passenger. 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.
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 https://www.tsa.gov/travel/civil-enforcement.