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Transportation Security Administration

Man arrested after TSA stops him from bringing handgun onto an airplane at Newark Liberty International Airport

Local Press Release
Thursday, March 12, 2020
EWR Gun Catch

NEWARK, N.J. – A New Jersey man was arrested by police after a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer caught him with a 9 mm handgun along with an additional magazine loaded with eight hollow-point bullets in his duffle bag at a security checkpoint in Terminal A yesterday, March 11.  

TSA officers caught the unloaded handgun as it entered the checkpoint X-ray machine. Port Authority Police were contacted, confiscated the gun and loaded magazine and arrested the man, a resident of Union, New Jersey, on weapons charges.  

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.

Firearms Caught at Newark Liberty International Airport

2017

2018

2019

2020

(as of 3-11-20)

6

14

11

5

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.

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