Woman caught with a loaded gun at Syracuse Airport

Local Press Release
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
TSA officers caught this handgun at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport checkpoint on Sept. 14. (TSA photo)

SYRACUSE, NY – A Florida woman was caught by Transportation Security Administration officers with a .22 caliber handgun loaded with three bullets among her carry-on items on Monday, Sept. 14, at Syracuse-Hancock International Airport.  

The TSA officer, who spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, contacted the Syracuse Police, who arrived at the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and briefly detained the woman for questioning before citing her on weapons charges. The woman said that she was flying home with a companion who had driven her luggage north from Florida and did not realize that her gun was in one of her carry-on bags.

 “Our TSA officers are very skilled at identifying prohibited items and illegal weapons,” said Bart R. Johnson, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Upstate New York. “This traveler basically said that she did not know where her gun was and as a result, she now faces stiff Federal financial civil penalties for her mistake. If you own a firearm, you need to know where it is at all times.”

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.

Guns caught at the Syracuse-Hancock International Airport checkpoint








Guns caught at Syracuse-Hancock International Airport







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.

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

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.