MINOT, N.D. – An officer with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Minot International Airport (MOT) discovered a loaded firearm Thursday at the security checkpoint during routine screening of carry-on baggage.
The Transportation Security Officer (TSO) found the firearm around 5:15 a.m. CDT in the carry-on bag of a male passenger ticketed for travel to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The firearm – a .38 caliber Taurus – was loaded with five rounds of ammunition.
When the TSO saw the image of a firearm on the x-ray screen, the Minot Police Department (MPD) was immediately notified and responded to the checkpoint. MPD confiscated the firearm and the passenger was allowed to continue to his flight.
This is the first firearm TSA has discovered in carry-on baggage at MOT in 2016. At Fargo’s Hector International Airport and at Grand Forks International Airport, TSA has discovered one firearm at each of the airport’s security checkpoints this year, bringing the statewide total to three. At Bismarck Airport, TSA has discovered two realistic replica firearms in carry-on baggage this year.
Nationwide in 2016, TSA has found more than 1,550 guns in carry-on bags at airport security checkpoints. In 2015, TSA across the country detected 2,653 firearms in passenger carry-on bags.
Firearms, ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas of firearms are always prohibited in carry-on baggage. However, these items can be transported in checked baggage provided the traveler declares them to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.
Firearms in checked baggage must be unloaded and stored in a locked, hard-sided container. TSA urges passengers to contact their airline for specific firearm and ammunition policies and to check local laws related to the carrying and transport of firearms.
TSA reminds passengers to be aware of the contents of their carry-on bag prior to coming to the security checkpoint. TSA has multiple resources available to passengers to help them determine whether an item is permitted in carry-on baggage, checked baggage or not at all. For more information, visit TSA’s prohibited items list.
Additional traveler information specifically related to the commercial air transport of firearms and ammunition can be found here.