CHICAGO – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a man from carrying a loaded 9mm handgun onto an airplane at Midway International Airport (MDW) on Monday.
At approximately 8 a.m., a TSA officer detected the gun in the local man’s carry-on bag. TSA officials immediately alerted the Chicago Police Department, who responded and removed the passenger and weapon away from the checkpoint.
“Our TSA officers remain vigilant during this pandemic and firearms brought to the airport security checkpoints can cause travelers unnecessary delays, possibly missed flights and loss of TSA PreCheck privileges,” said Chicago’s TSA Federal Security Director Dereck Starks. “Passengers are reminded to check their belongings prior to arrival and to follow the procedures for traveling with firearms located on the TSA webpage.”
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. 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.
This is the 18th firearm detected at MDW this year. A total of 33 were detected at MDW security checkpoints last year. Additionally, TSA officers have found 25 firearms at O’Hare International Airport in 2020.
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.
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.