TSA catches man with loaded gun at Boston Logan International Airport checkpoint

Man claims his co-worker put the gun in his carry-on bag
Local Press Release
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
TSA officers detected this handgun in the carry-on bag of a traveler ticketed to fly out of Boston Logan International Airport on March 24. (TSA photo)

BOSTON – Transportation Security Administration officers remain vigilant in their duties during this pandemic, and on Tuesday at Boston Logan International Airport, a TSA officer prevented a man from bringing a 9 mm caliber handgun loaded with five bullets onto an airplane.

The TSA officer stopped the man when the loaded gun was spotted as his belongings entered the checkpoint X-ray machine. TSA officials contacted the Massachusetts State Police, who confiscated the handgun and detained the man for questioning prior to citing him on a state weapons charge. 

The man, a resident of Alabama, told officials he did not know he had a loaded gun with him and speculated that one of his co-workers placed it in his carry-on bag before he headed to the airport for his flight.

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.

Guns caught at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) checkpoints from 2017 to 2020


Firearms caught in 2017

Firearms caught

in 2018

Firearms caught in 2019

Firearms caught

in 2020

(as of 3-25-20)






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. 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.