NEWARK, N.J. – A Morris County, New Jersey, man was arrested this morning, October 28, after Transportation Security Administration officers at Newark Liberty International Airport caught him trying to bring a .22 caliber handgun loaded with four bullets, past a security checkpoint in Terminal C.
TSA officers caught the handgun in the Morris Plains, New Jersey, resident’s carry-on bag as it entered the checkpoint X-ray machine. The traveler was arrested by Port Authority Police.
It marked the 11th gun caught at TSA checkpoints at Newark Liberty International Airport so far this year. Last year, 14 guns were caught at the airport’s checkpoints, which set a record for the most firearms caught at the airport in one calendar year.
Firearms Caught at Newark Liberty International Airport
(As of 10-28-19)
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.
Nationwide last year, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 11.6 firearms per day, approximately a 7% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 3,957 detected in 2017. Eighty-six percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded and nearly 34% had a bullet in the chamber.
As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. Even travelers with concealed firearm permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes in their carry-on bags. If an individual is a TSA Pre✓® member, that person could even lose TSA Pre✓® status. In addition, TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,333 for weapons violations. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100. The complete list of penalties is posted online.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.