TSA officers at Boise Airport discover two loaded firearms in travelers’ carry-on luggage Tuesday morning

Discoveries coincide with the increase in the number of people traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday
Local Press Release
Wednesday, November 24, 2021

BOISE, Idaho - Officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Boise Airport detected two firearms Tuesday morning during the routine X-ray screening of carry-on luggage at the security checkpoint.

The first firearm discovery occurred around 6:10 a.m. when TSA officers found a loaded Smith and Wesson .38 Special revolver in the carry-on bag of a traveler ticketed for travel to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. About 45 minutes later, a loaded .45 caliber Springfield MCP pistol was detected in the carry-on bag of a traveler headed to Los Angeles International Airport.

Upon discovery of each firearm, TSA notified the Boise Police Department’s airport division, which responded to the security checkpoint. The incident has been referred to the Ada County prosecutor’s office for review. There is no indication the two incidents are linked.

These two firearm finds at the Boise Airport bring the annual total to 31. These are the fourth and fifth firearm discoveries in November at the airport’s security checkpoint. In October, TSA announced that it set a 20-year record in the number of firearms discovered nationwide in carry-on luggage in the first nine months of 2021.

During a time when the number of travelers being screened through Boise Airport’s security checkpoint for the Thanksgiving holiday travel period have reached pre-Pandemic levels, TSA reminds travelers to be aware of the contents of their bag to ensure they are not bringing firearms or other prohibited items in carry-on luggage. Travelers who bring prohibited items to the security checkpoint slow the screening process down for everyone during a time when it is critical that operations run as smoothly and efficiently as possible to ensure a swift trip for everyone through the security screening process.

“I cannot be more clear when it comes to traveling with a firearm. Don’t bring it to the airport unless you have properly prepared the gun for travel and placed it in your checked luggage,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Idaho Andy Coose. “Let the discovery of these two guns serve as a reminder that bringing a gun in carry-on luggage is a mistake. During this Thanksgiving holiday travel period, one of the things I am grateful for is the TSA officers locally and nationwide who remain focused on their mission to keep security threats off of an aircraft.”

BOI gun catch photo 2

TSA will review the circumstances of the incidents and levy a civil penalty against each of the passengers. The recommended civil penalty for a firearm starts at $2,050 and can go up to the statutory maximum of more than $13,669 per violation. TSA evaluates each incident on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to civil penalties, individuals who violate rules regarding traveling with firearms will have Trusted Traveler status and TSA PreCheck® expedited screening benefits revoked for a period of time. The duration of the disqualification will depend upon the seriousness of the offense and if there is a repeated history of violations.

Firearms can be transported on a commercial aircraft only if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and placed in checked baggage. Ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames, receivers, clips and magazines are also prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be checked. Any type of replica firearm is prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be transported in checked luggage.

At the airport during the check-in process, a passenger should go to the airline ticket counter to declare the firearm, ammunition and any firearm parts. Prior to traveling, passengers are encouraged to check gun laws and regulations at their destination to ensure they are in compliance with local and state laws. TSA also recommends travelers check with their airline prior to their flight to ensure they comply with any airline-specific requirements.

Stun guns and other electro-shock weapons are never allowed in carry-on luggage. In addition, they must be transported in checked baggage in such a manner that the device is inoperable from accidental discharge.

More information on traveling legally with a firearm is available on TSA’s website.