TSA officers prevent man from bringing a gun onto flight at Westchester County Airport

Traveler arrested by police
Local Press Release
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
This loaded handgun was detected by TSA officers at the Westchester County Airport security checkpoint on May 30. (TSA photo)

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Westchester County Airport prevented a Hamilton County, N.Y., man from bringing his loaded handgun onto his flight yesterday, May 30.  The man’s .380 caliber handgun was loaded with six bullets. Local police also found the man, a resident of Long Lake, N.Y., to be in possession of multiple credit cards, each with a different name on them when they arrested him on weapons charges.

The gun was caught as the man entered the security checkpoint. The X-ray unit alerted a TSA officer to inspect the contents of the carry-on bag. The firearm was removed by the local police who confiscated the gun and credit cards and arrested the man.   

The man also faces a stiff financial civil penalty for bringing a gun to a TSA security checkpoint. The penalty for carrying weapons can reach a maximum of $15,000.

It marked the fourth gun that TSA officers have detected at the airport security checkpoint so far this year, which ties the number caught in 2022 with seven more months to go in 2023.

“We are currently experiencing extremely high passenger volume nationwide and bringing prohibited or illegal items to our security checkpoints slows down the checkpoint line,” said Robert Duffy, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Our officers are good at their jobs and are staying vigilant to keep all travelers safe and secure. Airports are congested, people are eager to travel and this is no time to be carrying a firearm in a carry-on bag, because it presents a significant security risk,” he added.

“Guns are never permitted to be carried past a security checkpoint. Hopefully this will be a strong reminder to others not to bring their guns to our checkpoints. Additionally, it is important to remember that a concealed carry permit or enrollment in the TSA PreCheck® program are not exemptions from this policy,” he added.

Passengers are only permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage.  Firearms must be unloaded then packed in a hard-sided locked case. The locked case must be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and gun owners have a duty to ensure they are not violating any local firearm laws. Additionally, contacting the respective airline could reveal any additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

TSA firearms catches at the Westchester County Airport checkpoint, 2018 to 2023








As of 5/30/23

Guns caught at Westchester County Airport







Bringing a gun to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil penalty because TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. Civil penalties for bringing a gun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because a concealed carry permit does not allow a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. Additionally, if a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

Last year, 6,542 firearms were caught at 262 out of 430 airport security checkpoints nationwide. Eighty-eight percent of those guns were loaded.

Unsure if an item should be packed in a carry-on bag, checked bag, either or neither? Download the free myTSA app, which has a handy “What can I bring?” feature that allows you to type in the item to find out if it can fly. Or ask on Twitter or Facebook Messenger at @AskTSA. Travelers may send a question by texting “Travel” to AskTSA (275-872).