BOSTON – Transportation Security Administration officers caught a Middlesex County, Massachusetts, man with a .22 caliber handgun loaded with 10 bullets, including one in the chamber, at a Boston Logan International Airport checkpoint on Friday, November 29.
It marked the 16th gun caught in a carry-on bag at the airport so far this year. Last year TSA officers caught 21 guns at the airport checkpoints.
TSA officers spotted the handgun when the man’s belongings entered the X-ray machine. They contacted the Massachusetts State Police, who confiscated the handgun, detained the man, a resident of Tynsborough, Massachusetts, for questioning and issued him a summons.
Firearms caught in 2017
Firearms caught in 2019
(As of 12-2-19)
Even travelers with concealed firearm permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes in their carry-on bags. 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. If an individual is a TSA Pre✓® member, then 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.