Rockland County, NY, man arrested after TSA stops him from bringing handgun onto an airplane at Newark Liberty International Airport

Local Press Release
Monday, August 24, 2020
TSA offices detected this loaded gun in a man’s carry-on bag at Newark Liberty International Airport on Friday, Aug. 21. (TSA photo)

NEWARK, N.J. – Police arrested a Rockland County, New York, man after a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer caught him with a 9 mm handgun loaded with five bullets in his carry-on bag at a Newark Liberty International Airport security checkpoint on Friday, Aug. 21.

TSA officers caught the handgun as it entered the checkpoint X-ray machine and immediately alerted the Port Authority Police. The police confiscated the gun and arrested the man, a resident of Monsey, New York, on weapons charges. 

“Despite the ongoing pandemic, our TSA officers remain laser focused on ensuring a secure flight for passengers and crew members while at the same time mitigating health risks,” said Tom Carter, TSA’s Federal Security Director for New Jersey. “Guns at checkpoints are never a good thing, and with the current situation it’s even more serious. There are enough risks at a checkpoint and bringing a loaded gun is an accident waiting to happen. It is dangerous to our officers and other travelers and can be easily mistaken as an intentional attempt to bring a deadly prohibited item onto an airplane.” 

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.

Firearms Caught at Newark Liberty International Airport checkpoints 2016 to 2020






(as of 8-23-20






TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint. A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100 and can go as high as $13,669 depending on any mitigating circumstances. 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 a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck™, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck™ privileges.

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.