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Transportation Security Administration

TSA finds firearm in carry-on bag at Bismarck Airport security checkpoint

Local Press Release
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

BISMARCK, N.D. - An officer with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered a firearm July 24 in the carry-on baggage of a male passenger traveling from the Bismarck Airport (BIS) to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The firearm was an unloaded .22 caliber Sig Sauer Mosquito handgun. The TSA officer discovered the firearm during the routine screening of carry-on bags around 8:30 a.m. Upon seeing the image of the firearm on the X-ray screen, TSA notified an airport law enforcement officer who responded to the security checkpoint.

This is the second time this year that a TSA officer has discovered a firearm at BIS in carry-on baggage. In 2017, TSA found five firearms in travelers’ carry-on luggage at the security checkpoint. Nationwide in 2017, TSA discovered 3,957 firearms in passengers’ carry-on bags. So far this year, TSA has discovered more than 2,400 firearms at security checkpoints at airports across the country.

“Today’s discovery is a good reminder to all travelers that transportation of firearms in carry-on luggage is never allowed,” said David Durgan, federal security director for North Dakota. “The rules for traveling with a firearm are straight forward and we strongly encourage passengers to take a few minutes to refresh their knowledge of the proper procedures”

Firearms can be transported on a commercial aircraft only if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and placed in checked baggage. Ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames, receivers, clips and magazines are also prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be checked.

At the airport during the check-in process, a passenger needs to go to the airline ticket counter to declare the firearm, ammunition and any firearm parts. Prior to traveling, passengers are encouraged to check gun laws and regulations at their destination to ensure they are in compliance with local and state laws.

Firearm magazines and ammunition clips - whether loaded or empty – must be securely boxed in a hard-sided case containing the unloaded firearm. Small arms ammunition that does not exceed .75 caliber for a rifle or pistol and shotgun shells of any gauge, may be transported in the same case as the firearm. TSA recommends travelers check with their airline prior to the flight to ensure they comply with any airline-specific requirements.

Any type of replica firearm is prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be transported in checked luggage. TSA permits rifle scopes to be transported in either carry-on or checked bags.

If a passenger brings a firearm to the TSA security checkpoint, TSA will levy a civil penalty against the passenger. The recommended civil penalty range is between $3,920 and $9,800. TSA evaluates each incident on a case-by-case basis.

Individuals who violate the rules above will have their Trusted Traveler status and TSA Pre✓® expedited screening benefits revoked for a period of time. The duration of the disqualification will depend upon the seriousness of the offense and if there is a repeated history of violations.

TSA reminds passengers to be aware of the contents of their carry-on bag prior to coming to the security checkpoint. TSA has multiple resources available to passengers to help them determine whether an item is permitted in carry-on baggage, checked baggage or not at all.

Travelers can use the “Can I Bring?” feature on the TSA mobile app, myTSA, or visit the TSA web site . Travelers can also Tweet or Message “AskTSA” if they have a travel question or are unsure if an item is allowed through security in a carry-on bag. Just snap a picture or send a question and get real-time assistance every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CDT.

Additional traveler information specifically related to the commercial air transport of firearms and ammunition can be found here and visit the TSA web site for more information on TSA’s civil penalties for prohibited items.