Boston-Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a Maine resident from bringing a loaded gun into the cabin of an aircraft on Friday, November 26, at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).
Around 5:30 Friday morning, TSA officers detected a firearm along with a gun magazine in a man’s backpack at a Terminal-B security checkpoint. TSA officers immediately notified Massachusets State Police.
Police officers discovered a loaded 9mm with around chambered along with a magazine containing seven rounds in the man's backpack. The man had an expired concealed firearms permit and police informed him he would be issued a summons by the State of Massachusetts for illegal possession of a firearm. Still, even with a permit, guns are not permitted to be carried through airport checkpoints.
This was the second firearm detected during the Thanksgiving holiday rush at BOS. TSA officers also detected a loaded .357 Magnum on Wednesday, November 24. TSA officers have now detected 17 firearms at BOS security checkpoints this year. In 2019, TSA officers caught 18 firearms. In 2020, TSA stopped 11 firearms at BOS security checkpoints.
“This just shows how vigilant our officers are. They are always alert and never rest in their search to keep weapons from being carried onto flights,” said Bob Allison, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Massachusetts. “Finding any type of firearm with a round chambered is disturbing. Responsible gun owners know where their firearms are at all times. Carelessly traveling with a firearm is a public safety concern, considering it could accidentally be discharged during a search. Passengers need to ensure when traveling with a firearm they are properly packed in their checked baggage.”
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 mitigating 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.