NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – A Cattaraugus County, New York, woman was arrested by police after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped her from bringing a loaded handgun onto an airplane at Niagara Falls International Airport yesterday, July 2.
The Olean, New York, resident was caught with a .380 caliber handgun in one of her carry-on bags. It was loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber.
When the TSA officer spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police were contacted, responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and arrested the woman on weapons charges.
“Bringing a loaded firearm to the airport checkpoint is both dangerous and illegal,” TSA’s Upstate New York Federal Security Director Bart R. Johnson said. “This is one of the busiest travel periods of the year and when a gun is identified on a checkpoint X-ray monitor, the checkpoint screening lane comes to a standstill until the situation is resolved. Our officers are good at what they do, and their diligent work helps ensure that travelers get to their destinations safely.”
TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,000 for weapons at the airport. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. The complete list of penalties is posted online. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.