TSA detects firearm in traveler’s carry-on luggage at BOI

Friday, April 24, 2020

BOISE, Idaho - Officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Boise Airport (BOI) discovered a loaded firearm in the carry-on luggage of female traveler ticketed for travel to San Francisco International Airport Friday morning.

Around 5:30 a.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 Walther PK380 - was loaded with eight rounds of ammunition. This is the sixth firearm discovered in carry-on luggage at BOI in 2020.

“I am proud to see that despite all of the distractions from normal life due to the coronavirus, our Boise TSA officers are still focused on TSA’s main mission of keeping passengers safe by keeping prohibited items off of airplanes, ensuring that those who need to travel are able to do so,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Idaho Andy Coose. “We are continuing to train our staff and do whatever it takes to keep them alert to possible threats to aircraft during this unusual time and the results show it. Well done, Boise TSA!”

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. The incident has been referred to the Ada County prosecutor’s office for review.

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 has developed a website that provides information on traveling during the coronavirus global pandemic. Travelers are reminded to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel and prevention guidance regarding COVID-19. This includes practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly. In addition to CDC recommendations, TSA also recommends that travelers wash their hands directly before and after completing the security screening process and that personal items such as wallets, keys or phones be placed in carry-on luggage to be screened through the X-ray system.