TSA stops gun at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport

Local Press Release
Friday, August 20, 2021
This handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) on Aug. 19. (TSA photo)

MILWAUKEE – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers prevented another handgun from making its way onboard an airplane at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) Thursday.

This is the third gun stopped at MKE in nine days. Altogether, 15 firearms have been detected at MKE this year. As a comparison, 16 firearms were detected at MKE security checkpoints in 2019, and 10 last year.

During the routine screening of carry-on luggage, a TSA officer spotted the image of a handgun on the X-ray screen. The incident occurred around 9 p.m., and TSA officials immediately alerted the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office. The firearm was loaded with 17 rounds, one chambered. The traveler, a West Allis resident, had a concealed-carry permit. A deputy responded to the checkpoint, escorted the passenger to the airport sheriff’s substation, and issued a citation.

“Gun owners need to know that we mean business when we detect a firearm at a checkpoint,” Wisconsin TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay said. “We take it extremely seriously when our officers stop a traveler with a gun or any other prohibited item during the screening process. Guns are never allowed on flights.”

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.

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.