Lubbock, Texas –The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered a loaded firearm at the security screening checkpoint Sept. 11 at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB). This is the ninth firearm found at the LBB checkpoint this calendar year.
The .380 caliber Smith & Wesson was detected in a carry-on bag during checkpoint X-ray screening. Per standard procedure, the Lubbock Airport Police Department responded, and an officer took possession of the weapon and interviewed the passenger. The passenger was later allowed to continue. Any determination about possible criminal charges is up to law enforcement.
Firearms can only be transported 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 checkpoints, but can be transported in checked bags.
Nationwide, TSA officers found 3,391 firearms at airport security checkpoints in 2016, which was a 28 percent increase over 2015. In calendar year 2016, eight firearms were found at the LBB checkpoint.
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 is $1,500. For more information, visit the prohibited items and firearms and ammunition pages at tsa.gov.