OMAHA, Neb. -- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered a loaded firearm in a carry-on bag at Omaha Eppley Airfield (OMA) this morning at the security screening checkpoint.
TSA found the .380 caliber Smith & Wesson, loaded with six rounds, in a passenger’s carry-on bag during X-ray screening at the checkpoint. Per standard procedure, TSA alerted local law enforcement. The Omaha Airport Authority police took possession of the weapon and interviewed the passenger, who was allowed to rebook a flight.
This is the second firearm TSA has found at an Omaha security checkpoint so far this year. A total of 12 firearms were found at OMA checkpoints in calendar year 2016.
“Firearms are not allowed in carry-on bags,” said TSA Federal Security Director Michael Fowler. “If you want to travel with a firearm, you can only take it in a checked bag that is declared to the airline at the ticket counter and properly packed in a locked, hard-sided container.” Firearm parts, ammunition, and realistic replicas also are not allowed through security checkpoints, but can be transported in checked bags.
In 2016, TSA officers found 3,391 firearms in carry-on bags at airport security checkpoints, an increase of 28 percent from 2015.
TSA has the authority to levy a civil penalty of up to $11,000 against a passenger who brings a firearm to the checkpoint. The average penalty for a loaded firearm is $3,000, and the average for an unloaded one is $1,500. Any determination about a criminal charge is up to law enforcement. For more information, visit the prohibited items and firearms and ammunition pages at tsa.gov.