DETROIT – The past week has been a busy one for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers as they prevented a loaded handgun from making its way into the passenger cabin of an airplane at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) for the third time in four days.
On Tuesday, May 18, TSA officers detected the loaded .380 caliber handgun along with a magazine containing six rounds in the carry-on bag of a female passenger. TSA officials immediately alerted the Wayne County Airport Police. The responding officer confiscated the weapon and issued the Michigan woman a citation.
“Our TSA officers continue to do an amazing job preventing firearms from entering the secure area of the airport,” said Detroit’s TSA Federal Security Director Steve Lorincz. “The summer travel season is approaching and passengers are reminded to be mindful of the location of their firearms at all times. When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident.”
This is the 33rd firearm detected at DTW security checkpoints in 2021 and even though there are fewer travelers due to the pandemic, DTW is on a pace to exceed the number of guns caught in a single year before the pandemic, when passenger volume was significantly higher. TSA officers detected 43 in 2020 and 47 in 2019.
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.