TSA stops firearm during security screening at Bradley International Airport

Local Press Release
Wednesday, October 27, 2021

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a man from carrying a loaded firearm onto his flight at Bradley International Airport (BDL) on Tuesday, October 26. It was the fifth firearm detected at BDL security checkpoints this year.

During security screening yesterday around noon, a TSA officer detected a loaded .22 caliber firearm along with a magazine containing six rounds in the man’s backpack. Connecticut State Police responded and during questioning discovered the man did not have a gun permit. The Florida resident stated he did not know that a firearm was in his backpack. Police eventually arrested the man on a state charge for attempting to circumvent security.

“Our TSA officers continue to do a fantastic job preventing firearms from entering the secure area of the airport,” said William Csontos, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Connecticut. “Saying you didn’t know the firearm was in your bag is no excuse. Responsible gun owners have permits and should always know where their firearm is at all times. Passengers who are traveling with firearms need to have a permit, declare with the airline during check-in that they want to travel with their firearm and ensure they are properly packed in their checked baggage.”

In 2020 TSA discovered only one firearm at BDL security checkpoints, seven in 2019 and nine in 2018.

TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100 and can go as high as $13,669 depending on any aggravating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

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.  

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.