PITTSBURGH – Transportation Security Administration officers at Pittsburgh International Airport continue to remain vigilant during the COVID-19 pandemic and earlier this morning stopped a Connecticut woman from bringing a handgun on an airplane.
A TSA officer spotted the unloaded .22 caliber handgun on the checkpoint X-ray machine’s monitor. It was found in her carry-on bag. TSA contacted the Allegheny County Police, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the handgun and detained the woman for questioning prior to releasing her.
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 you’re a TSA Pre✓® member, then you could even lose your status. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100. The complete list of penalties is posted online.
TSA Firearms Caught at the Pittsburgh International Airport checkpoint, 2017 to 2020
(As of 3-20-20)
Guns caught at the Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) checkpoint
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies as they may have additional requirements.