MILWAUKEE —Transportation Security Administration officers at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) stopped three handguns from being brought onboard airplanes during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period.
In the first incident, on Saturday, Nov. 20, TSA officers detected the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine at about 11:20 a.m. A deputy from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office responded to the checkpoint and escorted the passenger to the substation. The Taurus Spectrum .380 firearm was loaded with six rounds in the magazine.
On Monday, Nov. 22, another gun was caught at about 3 p.m. The firearm was unloaded, and the passenger stated she intended to check the firearm but forgot to move it to the checked bag. The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office again responded to the checkpoint, and the passenger was cited.
On Thursday, Nov. 25, around 6:30 a.m., TSA officers also detected a firearm in a passenger’s carry-on bag. The .40 caliber Glock 19 firearm was loaded with 15 rounds and one chambered. The passenger was cited.
“During this holiday travel season, passengers can be grateful for the TSA officers locally and nationwide who remain focused on their mission to keep security threats off of an aircraft,” Wisconsin TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay said. “Bringing a gun in carry-on luggage is always a mistake, and I urge all travelers to pack their firearms properly before coming to the airport.”
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.
Including these three, 23 firearms have been detected at MKE this year. A total of 16 firearms were detected at MKE security checkpoints in 2019, and 10 last year.
When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. Guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket 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.