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 Thursday, November 18. During security screening around noon, a TSA officer detected the firearm in the man’s duffel bag. Connecticut State Police responded and found a loaded .40 caliber firearm and a magazine containing twelve rounds. Police eventually arrested the Waterbury, Connecticut resident on a state charge.
“As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we ask travelers to take an extra minute or two to get a good look inside their carry-on bags to ensure that they have no prohibited—or illegal—items,” said William Csontos, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Connecticut. “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.”
This was the sixth firearm detected at BDL security checkpoints this year. 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.