MILWAUKEE - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered a loaded firearm in a passenger’s carry-on bag at a security screening checkpoint at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
The .380 Ruger, loaded with six rounds, was discovered during X-ray screening of a passenger’s carry-on bag. TSA alerted local law enforcement. The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department took possession of the weapon and determined if there would be any criminal charges.
This was the 9th firearm found at a MKE checkpoint in 2018. In 2017, TSA at MKE intercepted 15 firearms at checkpoints.
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 security checkpoints, but can travel in checked bags. TSA recommends that travelers check with their airline before going to the airport to determine if they have additional rules about transporting firearms in checked bags.
Nationwide, TSA officers found 3,957 firearms in carry-on bags at airport security checkpoints in 2017, a 17 percent increase over 2016. So far in 2018, TSA has found more than 3,500 at airport security checkpoints.
TSA has the authority to levy a civil penalty of up to $13,300 against a passenger who brings a firearm to the checkpoint. The average penalty for a loaded firearm is nearly $4,000, and the average for an unloaded is about half that amount. Any determination about a criminal charge is up to law enforcement. For more information, visit the prohibited items and firearms and ammunition pages at tsa.gov.