TSA detects two handguns at Pittsburgh International Airport security checkpoint on the same day

Local Press Release
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
TSA officers at Pittsburgh International Airport stopped a Pittsburgh resident with this loaded gun at the security checkpoint on Oct. 6. (TSA photo)

PITTSBURGH, Pa. –  Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers caught two travelers with handguns at Pittsburgh International Airport on Tuesday, Oct. 6.

A Pittsburgh resident showed up with a 9mm handgun loaded with 17 bullets and an additional magazine loaded with another 17 bullets while an Oakdale, Pennsylvania man showed up with an unloaded 9mm gun. Both guns were caught at the airport security checkpoint within an hour of each other, although the incidents were not related.

In each instance, a TSA officer spotted the guns on the checkpoint X-ray machine’s monitor. TSA immediately alerted the Allegheny County Police, which responded to the checkpoint, and questioned the men. Each man faces stiff Federal civil penalties for bringing their firearms to an airport security checkpoint.

PIT gun catch 2 photo
TSA officers at Pittsburgh International Airport stopped an Oakdale, Pennsylvania man with this unloaded 9 mm handgun on Oct. 6. (TSA photo)

TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts 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.

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.

TSA Firearms Caught at the Pittsburgh International Airport checkpoint, 2017 to 2020






(As of 10-6-20)

Guns caught





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 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.