TSA prevents man from carrying two loaded guns and extra ammunition onto his flight at Albany International Airport

Man claims he forgot he had his loaded guns with him
Local Press Release
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
A Johnston, New York, man was stopped by TSA officers who caught him with these two loaded guns in his backpack at Albany International Airport on May 11. (TSA photo)

COLONIE, NY – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers prevented a Fulton County, New York, man from carrying two loaded guns and extra ammunition onto his flight at Albany International Airport yesterday, May 11. 

TSA officers spotted the two loaded handguns in the man’s backpack as it entered the checkpoint X-ray unit. The police were alerted and interviewed the man, a resident of Johnston, New York.

One of the loaded guns was a .45 caliber with nine bullets with one in the chamber. The other was a .380 caliber handgun loaded with seven bullets. In addition, TSA officers detected a gun magazine loaded with six more bullets.

“To say that you forgot that you had two loaded handguns with an extra magazine with additional ammunition is inexcusable,” said Bart R. Johnson, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Upstate New York. “If you own firearms, you need to know where they are at all times and you need to know the proper way to transport your guns for a flight. This individual had a New York State gun permit for his weapons, but that is not a free pass to bring your guns into the cabin of an airplane. He now faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty for bringing loaded guns to a security checkpoint. The fact that one of the guns had a bullet in the chamber was just an accident waiting to happen. This was a good catch on the part of our TSA officers.”

Firearms caught at the Albany International Airport Checkpoints, 2019 to 2021*

Newark Airport






(As of 5/11/21)

Guns caught at the checkpoints






*Significantly fewer travelers due to the pandemic.

TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. Civil penalties for bringing a handgun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on 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 to be transported in the belly of the plane. Guns are absolutely not permitted to be carried onto planes. Checked firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and travelers should check into firearm laws before they decide to travel with their guns. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Nationwide, TSA officers detected 3,257 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year, although the total number of passengers screened at airport checkpoints across the country fell by 500 million compared to 2019 due to the pandemic. The result was that twice as many firearms per million passengers screened were detected at checkpoints in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, TSA caught approximately 10 firearms per million passengers as compared to about five firearms per million passengers in 2019.  Of the guns caught by TSA in 2020, about 83 percent were loaded.