TSA officers catch man who works at Philadelphia International Airport with a loaded gun

Man cited on weapons charge; employee ID confiscated
Local Press Release
Tuesday, August 29, 2023

PHILADELPHIA – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Philadelphia International Airport prevented a man who works at one of the airport retail concession shops from bringing his handgun through the security checkpoint yesterday, Monday (Aug. 28). The 9mm gun was loaded with nine bullets, including one in the chamber.

The gun was caught as the man entered the security checkpoint. The X-ray unit alerted on the carry-on bag, which required a closer inspection. The firearm was removed by the local police. The man, a resident of Philadelphia, told officials that he had taken his gun to a shooting range and forgot that he still had his loaded gun with him. The mistake resulted in being cited by police and having his employee ID confiscated. Without his ID badge, he cannot work at the airport. 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 as high as $15,000, depending on the circumstances.

“This was a good catch on the part of our TSA team here at Philadelphia,” said Gerardo Spero, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “As we all know, passengers are not permitted to carry their firearms through our security checkpoints. That also goes for individuals who work at the airport. In this instance, the man represented a possible insider threat with him being someone who worked in the airport.”

Firearms caught at TSA checkpoints at Philadelphia International Airport, 2017 to 2023









(As of 8/28/23)

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)








Bringing a gun to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil penalty because TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to individuals 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 individuals with or without concealed gun carry permits because a concealed carry permit does not allow a firearm to be carried through a checkpoint. 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.