STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – A Georgia man was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers when they spotted a .40 caliber handgun loaded with 12 bullets in his carry-on bag at University Park Airport on Thursday, June 25th.
When the TSA officer spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, the Penn State University Police were contacted, responded to the checkpoint and confiscated the firearm. The man told officials that he had driven from Georgia to Pennsylvania for his job, which is how he came to be in possession of the gun in Pennsylvania.
Thursday’s firearm catch was the first gun caught at the airport checkpoint this year.
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.