TSA stops man with loaded gun at General Mitchell International Airport

Local Press Release
Friday, October 9, 2020
This handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at General Mitchell International Airport on Oct. 8. (TSA photo)

MILWAUKEE – Transportation Security Administration officers (TSA) stopped a man from carrying a loaded 9mm handgun onto an airplane at General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) on Thursday, Oct. 8.

At approximately 6 a.m., a TSA officer detected the gun in the Kentucky man’s carry-on bag. TSA officials immediately alerted the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department, and a deputy responded to the checkpoint and confiscated the weapon.

“Weapons and firearms like this are never allowed to board planes through the airport security checkpoints,” said Wisconsin’s TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay. “Passengers should check their belongings prior to arriving at the airport. Our TSA officers will continue to prioritize the safety and security of all travelers and crew members.”

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, they are still not permitted to bring a firearm into the passenger section of the 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 for a period of time.

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packed in a hardback case, unloaded and declared at the airline check-in 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. Travelers should check for firearm laws in the jurisdictions they are flying to and from.

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.