TSA intercepts two guns at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Local Press Release
Thursday, October 21, 2021
This handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) on Oct. 20. (TSA photo)

CHICAGO —Transportation Security Administration officers at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) stopped two handguns from making their way onto flights in separate incidents Wednesday.

The incidents occurred around 6:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. In both cases, passengers presented their carry-on bags for screening and Transportation Security Officers detected the firearms on the X-ray. Both of the firearms were loaded. TSA officers contacted Chicago Police Department for further action. Individuals may face arrest and criminal charges.

“Our officers are extremely vigilant in keeping firearms and other weapons from being carried onto flights Dereck Starks, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Illinois said. “We’re seeing far too many guns at airport checkpoints. Passengers who are traveling with firearms need to ensure they are properly packed in their checked baggage.”

TSA issues civil penalties to travelers who bring guns to a checkpoint. 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.