MILWAUKEE — Transportation Security Administration officers at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) stopped a loaded handgun from getting through the checkpoint on Sunday, Jan. 31.
When the TSA officer detected the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, officers from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office were alerted, responded to the checkpoint and confiscated the weapon. The man, a St. Francis resident, was issued a citation. In addition, he also faces a stiff Federal financial civil penalty for carrying a gun to a TSA checkpoint.
“Individuals who want to fly with their firearms are permitted to do so as long as they follow the regulations for transporting their weapon,” said Mark Lendvay, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Wisconsin. “If you want to travel with your firearm, the first thing you should do is make sure it is unloaded. Then pack it in a hard-sided case and lock the case. Upon arriving at the airport, take the case to the airline check-in counter and declare that you want to fly with it. The airline will make sure it is stored securely in the underbelly of the plane so that nobody has access to it during the flight.”
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.
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.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.
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.