SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a firearm from making its way onboard an airplane at Sioux Falls Regional Airport (FSD) Tuesday.
During the routine screening of carry-on luggage, a TSA officer spotted the image of a handgun on the X-ray screen. TSA officials immediately alerted Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office and Sioux Falls Police, who responded to the checkpoint and confiscated the firearm. The firearm was loaded.
“As summer travel picks up, these incidents present a danger to our dedicated workforce, and the traveling public,” Acting South Dakota TSA Federal Security Director David Durgan said. “We encourage all travelers to know the exact location of their firearm at all times and to pack their luggage starting with a completely empty bag to ensure no prohibited items are accidentally brought to the checkpoint.”
This is the fourth firearm detected at FSD so far this year. Last year, nine firearms were detected at FSD security checkpoints.
TSA recently announced that the penalty for bringing weapons to the airport increased and can reach as high as $14,950, depending on the circumstances. TSA determines the penalty amount for a violation based on the circumstances in each case. TSA will continue to revoke TSA PreCheck eligibility for at least five years for passengers caught with a firearm in their possession.
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. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should check for firearm laws in the jurisdictions they are flying to and from.
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.