TSA Intercepts three guns in one day at Austin Bergstrom International Airport

Each of the three travelers said they forgot the firearm was in their carry-on.
Local Press Release
Friday, August 20, 2021
The handgun on the left was detected by TSA officers at Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) in the morning of August 19, and the handgun in the middle was found in the early afternoon that same day. (TSA photo) The handgun on the right was found late afternoon the same day. Resulting in three gun finds that day. (TSA photo)

AUSTIN – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers prevented three handguns from going onboard airplanes at Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) yesterday.

The first incident occurred at 7:34 a.m., when a TSA officer spotted the image of a handgun on the X-ray screen during the routine screening of carry-on luggage. TSA officials immediately alerted the Austin Police Department. The firearm was loaded with six rounds, none chambered. The traveler, stated he was on vacation and forgot the gun was in his carry-on luggage

A second gun was found at approximately 2:55 p.m., when an officer saw an image of a handgun during airport security screening and alerted Austin Police Department. The passenger stated he was in a rush and forgot the gun was in his carry-on. APD discovered a loaded .22 caliber gun with 15 rounds of ammo, one chambered.

The third gun found on Thursday, Aug. 19, was detected at 5:58 p.m. during checkpoint security screening. Once again, APD officers were called to respond to the incident. A third time, the passenger stated she forgot the gun was in her carry-on luggage. In this incident, officers discovered a loaded 9 mm gun with 4 round of ammo, none chambered.

“I forgot it was in my carry-on luggage, is not a valid excuse to bring a gun to the airport,” said Austin’s TSA Federal Security Director Michael Scott. “We want to remind everyone planning to fly out of Austin to carefully inspect your bag before you pack it and head to the airport.”

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 66th, 67th, and 68th firearms detected at AUS this year. A total of 78 firearms were detected at AUS security checkpoints in 2019, and 49 last year.

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. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should check for firearm laws in the jurisdictions they are flying to and from.

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.