TSA finds loaded pistol during security screening at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport

Local Press Release
Monday, May 17, 2021
(TSA Photo)

MILWAUKEE – On Saturday, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a passenger from carrying a loaded firearm onto his flight at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE).

On Saturday around 9:30 a.m., a TSA officer detected the loaded 9mm firearm in a male passenger’s backpack during security screening. TSA officers immediately alerted the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office. The passenger was cited and then allowed to travel after the weapon was secured.

“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. “If you own a firearm and want to travel with it, we ask you make sure the gun is unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided case and declared with the airline.”

This is the fifth firearm TSA officers at MKE have detected 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.