Westmoreland County woman caught with loaded handgun at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport

Number of guns caught in first five months of the year tie highest number caught in last 5 years
Local Press Release
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
A Greensburg, Pennsylvania, woman was caught with this loaded handgun among her carry-on items at the airport on May 18. (TSA photo)

LATROBE, Pa. – A Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, woman was prevented from carrying a loaded handgun onto her flight at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers yesterday, May 18.

The TSA officers caught the Greensburg, Pennsylvania, resident with a loaded .380 caliber handgun in her purse when she entered the security checkpoint. It was the third gun caught by TSA officers at the airport’s checkpoint so far this year. Even though it is only mid-May, it tied the highest number of guns caught at the checkpoint in all 12 months of 2019, in spite of the fact that significantly fewer travelers are flying currently due to the pandemic.

TSA officials notified the Westmoreland County Park Police, who responded to the checkpoint and questioned the woman. She now faces a stiff federal financial penalty for bringing a loaded gun to a security checkpoint.

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.

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.

Guns caught at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport Checkpoint, 2017 to 2021*







(As of 5/18/21)

Arnold Palmer Regional Airport (LBE)






*Fewer travelers due to the pandemic.

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.