LA CROSSE, Wis. – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers prevented a handgun from making its way onboard an airplane at La Crosse Regional Airport (LSE) Saturday.
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 11:20 a.m., and TSA officials immediately alerted La Crosse Police. The firearm was loaded with a round chambered, and the traveler is a La Crosse resident. A La Crosse officer responded to the checkpoint and secured the weapon.
“Passengers who are traveling with firearms must follow the proper procedure,” Wisconsin TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay said. “Pack the firearm in a locked, hard-sided case and check the bag. Guns are never allowed in carry-on luggage.”
This is the first firearm detected at an LSE checkpoint this year. One gun was also stopped in 2020.
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.