PITTSBURGH – A Washington County, Pennsylvania, man was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) Aug. 9 when they detected a loaded handgun in the man’s carry-on bag.
The McMurray, Pennsylvania, resident was stopped at the checkpoint with the .40 caliber gun, which was loaded with seven bullets. It marked the 20th gun stopped at the checkpoint so far this calendar year. In 2017, TSA officers at PIT Airport caught 32 firearms at the checkpoint.
TSA contacted the Allegheny County Police, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and detained the man for questioning.
When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. With the busy travel season in full swing, guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.
As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. Even travelers with concealed carry permits are not allowed to bring guns past TSA checkpoints. In addition, TSA has the authority to access civil penalties of up to $13,000. 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 web site. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.