MILWAUKEE – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped two passengers from carrying firearms onto airplanes at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) on Saturday, Feb. 27. The incidents were not related.
At approximately 5:06 a.m., a TSA officer detected a loaded .380 pistol during security screening. TSA officers immediately alerted the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office who discovered the pistol had a bullet chambered. The male passenger surrendered the firearm and was cited for bringing a gun to a security checkpoint.
Later that day TSA officers again detected a loaded firearm, this time in a woman’s carry-on bag during security screening. The Sheriff’s Office was contacted and again responded, then confiscated the pistol and cited the woman for carrying a concealed weapon.
“Our TSA officers continue to remain vigilant in performing their security duties during this pandemic,” said Mark Lendvay, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Wisconsin. “I strongly urge any gun owner to ensure they know where their firearm is before traveling to the airport.”
TSA officers at MKE have detected three firearms so far this year. A total of 11 were detected at security checkpoints in 2020.
TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts 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.
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.
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.