TSA stops two guns in two days at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport

Local Press Release
Monday, August 16, 2021
The handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) on Aug. 11 (TSA photo)

MILWAUKEE —Transportation Security Administration officers at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) stopped two handguns from being brought onboard airplanes last week.

In the first incident, on Wednesday, Aug. 11, TSA officers detected the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine at about 6:30 a.m. The passenger, a Menomonee Falls resident, had an expired concealed weapons permit.

On Thursday, Aug. 12, another gun was caught at about 6:20 a.m. at the checkpoint. The passenger, a Milwaukee resident, stated she had not realized the firearm was in her purse.

In both cases, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office was notified. Deputies confiscated the weapons, which both were loaded with a round chambered, and escorted the passengers to the airport substation.

MKE 2nd gun catch photo
This handgun was caught on Aug. 12. (TSA photo)

“We want people to be prepared for the checkpoint experience before they leave for the airport,” Wisconsin TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay said. “The most important thing travelers can do to contribute to an efficient screening process for everyone is to keep prohibited items out of their carry-on bags.”  

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 13th and 14th 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.