MILWAUKEE —Transportation Security Administration officers at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) stopped two handguns from being brought onboard airplanes in recent days.
In the first incident, on Saturday, July 17, TSA officers detected the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine at about 5 p.m. The passenger said the bag that contained the firearm, which was loaded with a round chambered, belonged to her grandson.
On Monday, July 19, another gun was caught at about 11 a.m. The firearm was unloaded, and the traveler, who had a concealed carry permit from Ohio, said he didn’t know he couldn’t bring a gun to an airport checkpoint. Ammunition was also found separately.
In both cases, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office was notified and deputies escorted the passengers to the airport substation.
“Individuals who want to fly with their firearms are permitted to do so as long as they follow the regulations for transporting their weapon,” Wisconsin TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay said. “TSA wants to underscore the following message to travelers: Take note of the contents of your carry-on luggage prior to coming to the airport to ensure that you do not bring firearms or others prohibited items to the security checkpoint.”
TSA may impose civil penalties of up to $13,910 per violation per person. A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100. The complete list of civil penalties is on the TSA website. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges for a period of time.
These are the 11th and 12th firearms detected at MKE this year. A total of 16 firearms were detected at MKE security checkpoints in 2019, and 10 last year.
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. 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.