SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Sacramento International Airport (SFMF) detected a loaded firearm Monday morning during the routine X-ray screening of carry-on luggage at the security checkpoint.
The weapon, a .380 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver loaded with five rounds of ammunition, was discovered in the bag of a female passenger ticketed for travel to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. Upon discovery of the firearm, TSA notified the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, which responded to the security checkpoint. Law enforcement interviewed the traveler and cited her on a state charge. The weapon was confiscated and the traveler was permitted to continue on her flight.
About an hour prior to the firearm discovery, TSA officers at SMF discovered a stun gun in the carry-on bag of a female traveler flying to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department was notified and responded to the security checkpoint. The traveler was offered the opportunity to place the stun gun in checked baggage, but chose to leave the item behind.
“The discovery of a loaded firearm and stun gun at SMF in a single day serve as a reminder that TSA officers remain focused on their mission of keeping potential security threats off of commercial aircraft,” said TSA Federal Security Director in Sacramento Sid Hanna. “These incidents should serve as a reminder to all passengers – especially gun owners – that bringing prohibited items can be an inconvenient and expensive mistake.”
So far in 2020, TSA officers at SMF have detected 11 firearms in carry-on luggage compared to 38 firearms in all of 2019. Nationwide this year, TSA officers have discovered 1,392 firearms to date and 84% of those have been loaded. In 2019, a total of 4,432 firearms were found in carry-on luggage at airports across the country.
TSA will review the circumstances of the incidents and levy a civil penalty against each of the passengers. The recommended civil penalty for a firearm starts at $2,050 and can go up to the statutory maximum of more than $10,250 per violation. Civil penalties for stun guns start at $350 and can go up to $2,050. TSA evaluates each incident on a case-by-case basis.
In addition to civil penalties, individuals who violate rules regarding traveling with firearms will have Trusted Traveler status and TSA PreCheckTM expedited screening benefits revoked for a period of time. The duration of the disqualification will depend upon the seriousness of the offense and if there is a repeated history of violations.
Firearms can be transported on a commercial aircraft only if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and placed in checked baggage. Ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames, receivers, clips and magazines are also prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be checked. Any type of replica firearm is prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be transported in checked luggage.
At the airport during the check-in process, a passenger should go to the airline ticket counter to declare the firearm, ammunition and any firearm parts. Prior to traveling, passengers are encouraged to check gun laws and regulations at their destination to ensure they are in compliance with local and state laws. TSA also recommends travelers check with their airline prior to their flight to ensure they comply with any airline-specific requirements.
Stun guns and other electro-shock weapons are never allowed in carry-on luggage. In addition, they must be transported in checked baggage in such a manner that the device is inoperable from accidental discharge.
More information on traveling legally with a firearm is available on TSA’s