GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers detected and prevented two handguns from making their way in the passenger cabin of airplanes at Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) Sunday.
In both incidents, TSA officials immediately alerted the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Police, and officers responded to the checkpoints, removed the local travelers and confiscated the weapons. The two incidents were not related. The first incident occurred around 5:15 a.m. and the second occurred around 3:15 p.m.
“As we enter the holiday travel season, our officers remain vigilant and continue to screen passengers for firearms and prohibited items,” said Grand Rapid’s TSA Federal Security Director Roger Dubuc. “The safety and security of all travelers and our workforce remain our top priority. Passengers are reminded to pack their luggage and carry-on bags from a completely empty status and know what is in their possession when arriving at the airport security checkpoints.”
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 7th and 8th 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.