NEWARK, N.J. – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers caught a Morris County, New Jersey, man with a handgun at a security checkpoint in Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport on Tuesday, Jan. 12, marking the first gun stopped at one of the airport checkpoints this year.
TSA officers caught the handgun as it entered the checkpoint X-ray machine. It was among the man’s carry-on items. TSA alerted the Port Authority Police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and arrested the man on weapons charges. The man, a resident of Florham Park, New Jersey, claimed that he forgot that he had his handgun with him. In addition to being arrested by the police, he also faces a stiff Federal financial civil penalty.
When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. Guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.
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 and can go as high as $13,669 depending on any mitigating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. 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.
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.