TSA officers at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport discover loaded firearm Sunday morning in travelers’ carry-on luggage

This is the 1st firearm discovery at the security checkpoint in 2022
National Press Release
Monday, January 10, 2022
SBA firearm (2022-01-09)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA) Sunday detected a 9 mm Glock 43 pistol loaded with seven rounds of ammunition in the carry-on luggage of a traveler ticketed for travel to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. This occurred around 4:20 a.m. during the routine X-ray screening of carry-on luggage at the security checkpoint.

Upon discovery of the firearm, TSA notified the Santa Barbara Airport Police, who responded to the security checkpoint. Following an interview with law enforcement, the traveler will be charged with the state violation “carrying a concealed weapon on your person.”

This is the first firearm find at SBA in 2022, and one of 11 firearms discovered Sunday by TSA officers at airport security checkpoints nationwide. In 2020, TSA officers at SBA discovered one firearm over the course of the year. No firearms were found in carry-on luggage in 2021.

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.

“For the safety of TSA employees, the airport community and other passengers, no traveler should ever bring a firearm in their carry-on luggage to the security checkpoint,” said TSA Federal Security Director for SBA Anita Minaei. “If you are planning to travel with a firearm, please take a few minutes to properly pack and secure it for transit in checked baggage on a commercial aircraft. This will save you time and money.”

Travelers who bring prohibited items to the security checkpoint slow down the screening process for everyone; this is especially challenging in the current climate 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.The flashlight stun gun and set of throwing knives were discovered over the weekend.

TSA reviews the circumstances of firearm incidents and may levy a civil penalty against the passenger. 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.

More information on traveling legally with a firearm is available on TSA’s website. For information on how to travel with any type of item, visit TSA’s “Can I Bring” website.