ALBANY, N.Y. – A Montgomery County, New York, man was arrested at Albany International Airport (ALB) Friday, Oct. 20, after Transportation Security Administration officers caught the Amsterdam, N.Y., resident trying to carry a loaded .380 caliber handgun past a security checkpoint. The gun was loaded with six bullets.
It marks the fifth handgun that TSA officers have spotted at the checkpoint so far this calendar year. Last year TSA officers at ALB saw two guns show up at the checkpoint.
TSA officers detected the gun among the man’s carry-on items as he was entering the airport checkpoint. TSA officers contacted the Albany County Sheriff’s Department, who responded to the checkpoint, and conducted an investigation. There was no impact to airport operations.
“Detecting guns at checkpoints brings to light the critical role that the Transportation Security Administration, and the dedication of the officers assigned to the Albany International Airport, demonstrate in protecting the flying public--by keeping loaded firearms from being allowed onto a plane,” said TSA Upstate New York Federal Security Director Bart Johnson. “It is also a stark reminder of the importance that passengers play in making sure that they stop and think about what they have in their carry-on bags to ensure that they do not bring any prohibited items to an airport checkpoint.”
As a reminder, firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline. Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA of up to $12,000. A typical first offense often nets a $3,000 penalty.
Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint, and TSA’s advice to passengers is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on TSA.gov. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.