TSA finds loaded pistol during security screening at Appleton International Airport

Local Press Release
Monday, March 15, 2021

APPLETON, WI – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a male passenger from carrying a loaded 9mm firearm onto his flight at Appleton International Airport (ATW) on Friday, Mar. 12. The firearm was the first one detected at ATW this year.

On Friday around 4:05 p.m., a TSA officer detected the firearm along with two magazines in his carry-on bag during security screening. TSA officers immediately alerted the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office. The Appleton resident was then escorted out of the security screening area so he could secure his weapon.

“When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident,” 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 ATW detected three firearms at ATW in 2020. A total of four firearms have been found at TSA security checkpoints in Wisconsin this year.

If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges. TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. TSA may seek a penalty amount of up to $13,910 per violation, if there are aggravating factors. 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.

 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.