MILWAUKEE – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a woman from carrying a loaded .22 caliber handgun and a magazine with nine bullets onto an airplane at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) Wednesday.
At approximately 6:15 a.m., a TSA officer detected the gun in the local woman’s purse. TSA officials immediately alerted the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department and a deputy responded who removed the passenger and weapon away from the checkpoint.
“We continue to detect firearms and prohibited items at the airport security checkpoints during this pandemic,” said Wisconsin’s TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay. “I ask that all travelers be mindful of the whereabouts of their firearms at all times. The safety and security of all remain our top priority.”
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 on the TSA website. 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 9th firearm detected at MKE this year. A total of 16 were detected at MKE security checkpoints last year.
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.