RALEIGH, N.C. – Transportation Security Administration officers prevented a passenger from bringing two loaded handguns onboard a plane at Raleigh-Durham International Airport this morning.
The incident took place at the TSA Pre✓® checkpoint just after 7 a.m. To date, TSA officers have caught nine firearms at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in 2017. The total number of firearms discovered at RDU in 2016 was 54.
TSA Pre✓® travelers who are caught at a checkpoint with a gun will be denied expedited screening for a period of time. 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 traveler was 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. TSA officers immediately contacted the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority Police Department, which responded to the checkpoint. The passenger was 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-sided 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 its website. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition so travelers should contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.
TSA 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.