TSA catches third gun in four days at Pittsburgh International Airport security checkpoint

Local Press Release
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
TSA officers at Pittsburgh International Airport stopped a man with this loaded gun at the security checkpoint on Oct. 10. (TSA photo)

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Transportation Security Administration officers caught a traveler with a handgun at Pittsburgh International Airport on Saturday, Oct. 10, marking the third gun caught at the airport within a four-day span. On Tuesday, Oct. 6, TSA stopped two passengers with guns at the checkpoint.

On Saturday, a Texas man was caught with a .45 caliber handgun loaded with six bullets. TSA immediately alerted the Allegheny County Police, which responded to the checkpoint and confiscated the gun. The man faces stiff Federal civil penalties for bringing his handgun to an airport security checkpoint.

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 10-12-20)

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.