TSA stops Berks County man from carrying handgun onto flight out of Philadelphia International Airport

Local Press Release
Thursday, June 18, 2020
TSA officers at Philadelphia International Airport stopped a man with this revolver at a checkpoint on Tuesday. (TSA photo)

PHILADELPHIA – A Berks County, Pa., man was stopped at a Philadelphia International Airport Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint on Tuesday, June 16, when TSA officers detected a .357 caliber handgun in his carry-on bag along with five loose bullets.

TSA officials notified the local police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and detained the man, a resident of Wernersville, Pa., for questioning prior to citing him on weapons charges.

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.

“Our TSA officers remain focused on their jobs, even during this pandemic,” said Gerardo Spero, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Philadelphia International Airport. “Responsible gun owners know that they cannot carry a gun onto an airplane by packing it in their carry-on bag. They can, however, travel with one if it is properly packed and declared at the airline check-in counter. The airline will ensure that the gun travels in the belly of the plane for the flight. It’s a very simple procedure.”

Guns caught by TSA at the Philadelphia International Airport checkpoint 2016 to 2020







Guns caught







TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online.

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. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.