TSA stops man from bringing a loaded handgun onto an airplane at LaGuardia Airport

Local Press Release
Monday, August 10, 2020
TSA officers at LaGuardia Airport detected this loaded handgun in a traveler’s carry-on bag on Aug. 8. (TSA photo)

NEW YORK –  Transportation Security Administration officers caught a Georgia resident with a 9 mm handgun loaded with five bullets in his carry-on bag at LaGuardia Airport on Saturday, Aug. 8.

A TSA officer spotted the handgun on the checkpoint X-ray machine’s monitor. TSA immediately alerted the Port Authority Police, which responded to the checkpoint, and detained the man for questioning before arresting him on weapons charges.

In addition, the man faces a Federal civil penalty. A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a TSA checkpoint is $4,100. 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. If an individual with a gun is a TSA PreCheck™ member, that person will lose TSA PreCheck™ status.  

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.

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. The case must be taken to the airline check-in counter to declare the gun. It will then be placed in the belly of the airplane for transport.

Firearms Caught at LaGuardia Airport checkpoints 2016 to 2020







(as of 8-9-20)

Guns at LaGuardia checkpoints






TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and travelers should check with the localities that they are flying to and from before traveling with a gun. Additionally, passengers should contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.