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

Local Press Release
Monday, July 20, 2020

PHILADELPHIA – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at the Philadelphia International Airport checkpoint detected a 9mm handgun loaded with 13 bullets, including one in the chamber. The TSA officers contacted Philadelphia police, who cited the man for the gun violation Saturday.

After spotting the handgun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, TSA immediately alerted the Philadelphia Police, who responded to the checkpoint and cited the man 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 team is focused on its security mission and they are skilled at detecting prohibited items brought to checkpoints,” said Gerardo Spero, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Philadelphia International Airport. “I would like to remind passengers that it is important for them to thoroughly search their bags for any potential dangerous weapons or prohibited items before departing for the airport.”

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







(As of 7-19-20)

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.