LA CROSSE, Wis.– Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a man from carrying a loaded .22 caliber handgun and a magazine with 12 bullets onto an airplane at La Crosse Regional Airport (LSE) Tuesday.
At approximately 5:15 a.m., a TSA officer detected the gun in the Washington man’s carry-on bag. TSA officials immediately alerted the La Crosse Police Department and an officer responded who took possession of the weapon and escorted the passenger and weapon away from the checkpoint.
“Travel during this holiday season is ramping up and firearms continue to be detected at airport security checkpoints,” said Wisconsin’s TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay. “During this pandemic, our sharp TSA officers remain vigilant while keeping our airports as safe and secure as possible.”
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 1st firearm detected at LSE this year. A total of 2 were detected at LSE security checkpoints in 2018.
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.