Local man caught with a loaded gun at Syracuse Airport, says he forgot he had his gun with him

Local Press Release
Thursday, April 30, 2020
TSA officers caught this handgun at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport checkpoint on April 30. (TSA photo)

SYRACUSE, NY – An Onondaga County, New York, man was caught by Transportation Security Administration officers with a .22 caliber handgun loaded with six bullets including one in the chamber, in his carry-on bag on this morning, at Syracuse-Hancock International Airport.  

The TSA officer, who spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, contacted the Syracuse Police, who arrived at the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and detained the man, a resident of Clay, New York, for questioning. He told officials that he forgot that he had his loaded gun with him.    

 “In spite of the fact that there is a pandemic, our TSA officers remain vigilant. They may be wearing masks, but that’s certainly not hindering their ability to spot firearms,” said Bart R. Johnson, TSA’s Upstate New York Federal Security Director. “Having prohibited items in your possession at a checkpoint results in additional risks during the pandemic. It means that our officers have to open a passenger’s belongings. It means more touchpoints. Thus, it is especially important, now more than ever, to know what you are bringing to the airport and making sure you are not carrying anything prohibited.”

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. In addition, TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties for weapons violations. The complete list of penalties is posted online.

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

Guns at checkpoints







Syracuse-Hancock International Airport