TSA officers detect two firearms in two hours at Chicago O’Hare International Airport Wednesday

Local Press Release
Thursday, August 6, 2020

CHICAGO - Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers detected two firearms with ammunition in separate incidents during a two-hour period at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) security checkpoints Wednesday.  

At 7:25 a.m., TSA officer detected a loaded 9mm firearm with 14 rounds of ammunition in a passenger’s carry-on bag.

At 9:03 a.m., another TSA officer detected a .38 caliber firearm loaded with seven rounds of ammunition. 

In both incidents, TSA officers contacted the Chicago Police Department who removed the firearms and the passengers from the checkpoint areas. 

“Even throughout this pandemic, TSA officers continue to find firearms at our airport security checkpoints,” said Chicago’s Federal Security Director Dereck Starks. “Passengers must remember they’re responsible for the contents of their personal items and our advice is that they thoroughly inspect all carry-ons, luggage and bags to make sure there are no prohibited items in their possession.”

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at check-in with the airline. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, and locked. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.

TSA officers have detected 16 firearms at ORD security checkpoints in 2020. A total of 50 firearms were detected during screenings last year.

Individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from local law enforcement. In addition, TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,333 for weapons violations. The complete list of penalties is posted online. Guns are prohibited items in the passenger cabins of airplanes, even with state-issued concealed firearm permits. 

For more information about TSA prohibited and allowed carry-on items please follow these links: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all