Loaded handgun stopped at Mitchell International Airport checkpoint

Local Press Release
Friday, February 14, 2020
This loaded handgun was detected by TSA officers at Mitchell International Airport on Feb. 13. (TSA photo)

MILWAUKEE. – A Milwaukee, Wisconsin woman was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at Mitchell International Airport on Thursday, Feb. 13, when they detected a purple 9 mm caliber handgun loaded with 10 bullets including one in the chamber, in her carry-on bag.

TSA officials notified the Sheriff’s office, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and detained the woman for questioning prior to allowing her to return the handgun to her vehicle.  

When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. Guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.








(As of 2-13-20)

Mitchell International Airport Guns caught at checkpoints







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.

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. If the individual is a TSA Pre✓® member, that person 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 $4,100. 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.