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Transportation Security Administration

TSA detects two handguns, ammunition in a passenger’s carry-on luggage at Boise Airport

Monday, May 20, 2019

BOISE, Idaho – An officer with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Boise Airport (BOI) discovered two firearms and 50 rounds of .380 caliber ammunition in the carry-on luggage of a male traveler Monday at approximately 7 a.m. MDT.

The firearms, an unloaded Ruger .380 and a Walter P-22 loaded with six rounds of ammunition, and the additional rounds of ammunition were spotted during the routine screening of carry-on luggage. TSA immediately notified the Boise Police Department and an officer responded to the security checkpoint. They interviewed the traveler who was ticketed for travel to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport and confiscated the weapon. The incident has been referred to the Ada County prosecutor’s office for review.

“TSA officers have stopped a double threat to aviation today. In my 27 years working in and around airports, this is the first time two guns have been found in the same passenger’s carry-on bag,” said Andy Coose, TSA Federal Security Director for Idaho. “This incident should serve as a reminder for all passengers – especially gun owners - to double check before they head out to catch a flight to make sure there is nothing dangerous or prohibited in their carry-on property.”

TSA will review the circumstances of the incident and levy a civil penalty against the passengers. The recommended civil penalty for a firearm starts at $2,000 and can go up to the statutory maximum of $13,333 per violation.

Factors TSA considers when determining the civil penalty amount include whether the firearm was loaded and whether there was accessible ammunition. TSA evaluates each incident on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to civil penalties, individuals who violate rules regarding traveling with firearms will have 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.

These two firearms bring the total number of guns discovered by TSA at Boise Airport in 2019 to five. Of those, four were loaded. Nationwide, TSA officers have discovered more than 1,500 firearms in carry-on luggage so far this year.

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. Any type of replica firearm is prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be transported in checked luggage.

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. TSA also recommends travelers check with their airline prior to their flight to ensure they comply with any airline-specific requirements.

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  https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all. 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.

Additional traveler information specifically related to the commercial air transport of firearms and ammunition can be found at http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition. More information on TSA’s civil penalties for prohibited items can be found at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/civil-enforcement.

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