LEWISTON, Idaho - Officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport (LWS) detected an unloaded 9 mm Sig Sauer P290 gun in the carry-on luggage of a female passenger ticketed for travel to Salt Lake City International Airport. This occurred around 5:35 p.m. PDT Monday during the routine X-ray screening of carry-on luggage at the security checkpoint.
Upon discovery of the firearm, TSA notified officers with the Lewiston Police Department and they responded to the security checkpoint. They interviewed the traveler and allowed her to give the firearm to a non-traveler.
This is the first firearm discovered by TSA in carry-on luggage at LWS in 2022. In July 2021, TSA officers at LWS discovered an unloaded firearm in a traveler’s carryon bag. In 2020, no firearms were found at the LWS security checkpoint.
The firearm find at LWS on Monday was one of 27 firearms detected in carry-on luggage at airports nationwide. Since January 1, 2022, TSA officers have discovered more than 2,800 firearms in carry-ons at security checkpoints nationwide.
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.
“The discovery of a firearm at LWS Monday evening should serve as a reminder to every gun owner that guns are not allowed to travel through the security checkpoint. If you are traveling with a firearm, take a few minutes to review the proper procedures to avoid an inconvenient and expensive mistake,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Idaho Andy Coose. “Many thanks to the TSA officers who work day in and day out to ensure security threats do not make it into the cabin of an aircraft.
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 $10,000 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.