TSA stops woman with loaded handgun in her handbag at Bangor International Airport

Woman claims she did not know that she had her loaded gun with her
Local Press Release
Monday, June 22, 2020
TSA officers at Bangor International Airport caught this loaded gun in a woman’s handbag at the security checkpoint on Saturday, June 20. (TSA photo)

BANGOR, Maine –  Transportation Security Administration officers at Bangor International Airport stopped a woman from bringing her .380 caliber handgun loaded with six bullets onto a flight on Saturday, June 20. They detected the gun in her handbag.

When TSA officers discovered the loaded firearm in the Georgia woman’s handbag, she told officials that she did not know that she had the gun with her because she thought it was in a different bag. She also stated that she had driven from her home in Georgia to Maine and was ticketed to fly back when TSA officers intercepted the gun.

TSA officials notified the Bangor Police, which responded to the checkpoint and allowed the woman to hand off the gun to a friend who was not ticketed to fly.

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.

“The public should feel reassured that our TSA officers continue to remain vigilant in performing their security duties during this pandemic,” said Bob Allison, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Maine. “Gun owners should know where their firearm is at all times. There is really no excuse for trying to bring a handgun onto an airplane where someone would have access to it during a flight.”  

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







(As of 6-21-20)

Guns caught

at checkpoint






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.