During the morning security screening on Monday, February 5, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers immediately notified Bangor Police after detecting a firearm in a male passenger’s carry-on bag. Police discovered a loaded .22 caliber firearm along with eight rounds in the Maine resident’s bag.
“When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm it can slow or shut down security screening until the police resolve the incident,” said Oscar De Los Reyes, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Maine. “Carelessly traveling with a loaded firearm is a serious public safety concern, considering it could be accidentally discharged during a search.”
This was the first firearm detected at a Maine airport in 2024 and the fifth in New England. Boston Logan and Bradley International each have had two detections this year.
TSA Security Checkpoint Firearm Detections at Maine Airports (2021 – 2024):
|Portland International Jetport
Firearms at TSA checkpoints represent an unnecessary risk and an expensive mistake for passengers who do not follow requirements to declare firearms in advance and properly pack them in checked baggage.
TSA has announced several new measures to mitigate firearm threats including enhanced screening for passengers in possession of a firearm at a TSA checkpoint and loss of TSA PreCheck® eligibility for up to five years. In December 2022, TSA also increased the maximum civil penalty for a firearms violation to nearly $15,000.
The complete list of penalties is posted online. Firearms are not permitted in the passenger cabin of an airplane; this includes travelers with a concealed weapon permit.
Airline passengers can fly with firearms in checked baggage if the firearms are properly packed and declared at check-in. However, firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. TSA advises travelers to familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure to ensure they transport guns in accordance with applicable laws.
Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition, so travelers should also contact the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies prior to arriving at the airport.
Where local firearm possession laws permit, passengers may travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded and packed in a locked hard-sided case. Ammunition must be in its original box and can be packed inside the hard-side case next to the firearm. Even if the box of ammunition is not full, the bullets must be in their original case. The passenger must present the case with the firearm at the airline check-in counter and inform the airline representative of their intention to travel with the gun. Firearms are transported with checked baggage and are placed in the cargo hold of the aircraft.
Visit the TSA website for details on traveling properly with a firearm.