GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a man from carrying a loaded 9mm handgun and a magazine with 10 bullets onto an airplane at Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) Sunday.
At approximately 5:30 a.m., a TSA officer detected the gun in the local man’s carry-on bag. TSA officials immediately alerted the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Police and an officer responded who took possession of the weapon and escorted the passenger and weapon away from the checkpoint.
“Firearms and prohibited items continue to be detected at airport security checkpoints during this pandemic,” said Grand Rapid’s TSA Federal Security Director Roger Dubuc. “Our sharp TSA officers remain vigilant while the safety and security of all travelers remain our top priority.”
TSA issues civil penalties to travelers who bring guns to 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 3rd firearm detected at GRR this year. A total of 10 were detected at GRR 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. 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.