Man arrested after TSA stops him from bringing handgun onto an airplane at Newark Liberty International Airport

Local Press Release
Monday, July 20, 2020

NEWARK, N.J. – Police arrested a Connecticut man after a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer caught him with a 9 mm handgun loaded with four bullets in his carry-on bag at a security checkpoint yesterday, July 19.  

TSA officers caught the unloaded handgun as it entered the checkpoint X-ray machine and immediately alerted the Port Authority Police. The police confiscated the gun and arrested the man, a resident of Danbury, Connecticut, on weapons charges.  

“We are seeing an increase in the number of guns that passengers are bringing to the checkpoint even though there are fewer travelers this year as a result of the pandemic,” said Tom Carter, TSA’s Federal Security Director for New Jersey. “Our officers continue to be focused on their security mission during this time and they are very skilled at detecting firearms and other prohibited items. Security is the main focus of our TSA team, and having guns in carry-on bags that travelers plan to bring on the aircraft is dangerous to other travelers and can be easily mistaken as an intentional attempt to bring a prohibited item onto an airplane.” 

 Firearms Caught at Newark Liberty International Airport






(as of 7-19-20)






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 a security 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. If the individual is a TSA Pre✓® member, that person could even lose their TSA Pre✓® status. In addition, TSA has the authority to assess financial civil penalties of up to $13,333 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. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.