Man says he forgot that he had his loaded gun with him
NEW YORK – A Kentucky man became the first individual caught by the Transportation Security Administration with a firearm at a LaGuardia Airport checkpoint this year. He was stopped with a .380 caliber handgun loaded with seven bullets in his carry-on bag at a security checkpoint yesterday, Feb. 26.
TSA officers caught the handgun as it entered the checkpoint X-ray machine. Port Authority Police were contacted, confiscated the gun and detained the man for questioning.
The man, who flew to the New York area on a private jet, told officials that he forgot that he had his loaded gun with him.
Firearms Caught at LaGuardia Airport checkpoints 2016 to 2020
(as of 1-26-20)
Guns at LaGuardia Airport checkpoints
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, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 12.1 firearms per day, approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018. Eighty-seven percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded.
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. 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.