RALEIGH, N.C. – Transportation Security Administration officers prevented two passengers from bringing loaded handguns on board planes at Raleigh-Durham International Airport this week.
The first incident took place yesterday at the TSA Precheck Checkpoint. The second took place this morning, also at the TSA Precheck Checkpoint. To date, TSA officers have caught 49 firearms at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (30 was the total for all of 2015).
TSA Precheck travelers who are caught at a checkpoint with a gun will lose their TSA Pre✓® benefits for two years.
In addition, when TSA officers detect a firearm, the entire screening lane must shut down due to law enforcement intervention, thereby holding up the screening process for all remaining passengers waiting to be screened.
TSA officers detected both the guns and ammunition as the travelers were passing through the airport checkpoint. TSA officers staffing the checkpoint X-ray machines detected the firearms as they passed along the conveyor belt inside the traveler’s carry-on bags. In both instances, TSA officers immediately contacted the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority Police Department, which responded to the checkpoint. Both passengers were questioned and cited.
There is a right way to travel with a firearm and a wrong way. The wrong way is to bring it to a checkpoint. Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Then the firearm must be taken to the airline check-in counter for proper firearm declaration procedures.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm on tsa.gov. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition so travelers should contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.
The Transportation Security Administration screens approximately 2 million passengers and their luggage every day for prohibited items, including weapons and explosives. To do this, TSA uses imaging technology to safely screen passengers for any items which may be concealed under clothing, while X-ray units screen all carry-on baggage.