APPLETON, Wis. – Transportation Security Administration officers (TSA) stopped a man from carrying a loaded .380 caliber handgun onto an airplane at Appleton International Airport (ATW) on Monday, Oct. 12.
At approximately 2 p.m., a TSA officer detected the gun in the local man’s carry-on bag. TSA officials immediately alerted the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department, and a deputy responded, confiscated the weapon and escorted the man away from the checkpoint.
“Our TSA officers remain vigilant during this pandemic and firearms like this can cause unnecessary delays and possibly missed flights,” said Wisconsin’s TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay. “Unfortunately there is an increase in firearms being found at the airport security checkpoints and passengers are reminded to double check their belongings prior to arrival.”
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 unloaded, packed separately from ammunition in a locked hardback case and declared at the airline check-in counter. 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.