MANCHESTER, N.H. – A Merrimack County, New Hampshire, man was caught with a .45 caliber handgun loaded with eight bullets, including one in the chamber at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport on Sunday, June 7.
The gun was spotted by a Transportation Security Administration officer when it appeared on the checkpoint X-ray monitor. TSA contacted the Londonderry Police Department, who arrived at the checkpoint and allowed the man, a resident of Pittsfield, New Hampshire to hand off the gun to a family member.
It was the second gun caught at the airport this year. Last year TSA officers stopped one gun at the airport checkpoint.
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 addition, TSA has the authority to assess financial civil penalties for weapons. The complete list of penalties is posted online.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at the airline check-in counter. 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.
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.