TSA catches Lancaster County woman with loaded gun at Harrisburg International Airport

Local Press Release
Monday, August 3, 2020
TSA officers detected this loaded gun in a traveler’s carry-on bag at Harrisburg International Airport on Aug. 1. (TSA photo)

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Transportation Security Administration officers prevented a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, woman from bringing a .22 caliber handgun loaded with 10 bullets onto an airplane at Harrisburg International Airport on Saturday, Aug. 2.

The pink and black colored gun was caught by TSA officers as the woman’s belongings entered the security checkpoint X-ray machine. TSA officers alerted the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority Police, which came to the checkpoint and confiscated the handgun. Police cited the woman, a resident of Paradise, Pennsylvania, on weapons charges. 

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage only if they are properly packaged and declared to the airline. To transport a firearm, it must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Then it needs to be taken to the airline check-in counter.

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.

Number of guns caught at the Harrisburg International Airport checkpoint 2015 to 2020








Guns at Harrisburg Int’l Airport







As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the 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 an individual is a TSA Pre✓® member, that person could even lose TSA Pre✓® status. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100. 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.