TSA officers prevent man from bringing a gun onto flight at Westchester County Airport


This handgun was detected by TSA officers at the Westchester County Airport security checkpoint on March 6. (TSA photo)

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Westchester County Airport prevented a Florida man from bringing his loaded handgun onto his flight on Monday, March 6. The man’s 9mm handgun was loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber.

The gun was caught as the man entered the security checkpoint. The X-ray unit alerted on the carry-on bag, which required a closer inspection. The firearm was removed by the local police.

The man told officials that he forgot that he had his loaded gun with him. He now faces a stiff financial civil penalty for bringing a gun to a TSA security checkpoint. The penalty for carrying weapons recently increased to a maximum of $15,000.

“Guns are not permitted through any airport security checkpoint,” said Robert Duffy, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Already this is the second handgun that our officers have prevented from getting onto a flight here at Westchester so far this year. Hopefully this will be a strong reminder to others not to bring their guns to our checkpoints. This individual now faces a stiff Federal financial penalty that could cost him thousands of dollars. Additionally, it is important to remember that a concealed carry permit or enrollment in the TSA PreCheck® program are not exemptions from this policy.”

Passengers are only permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage. Firearms must be unloaded then packed in a hard-sided locked case. The locked case must be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared. 

. Civil penalties for bringing a gun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because a concealed carry permit does not allow a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. Additionally, if a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

Last year, 6,542 firearms were caught at 262 out of 430 airport security checkpoints nationwide. Eighty-eight percent of those guns were loaded.

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