TSA officers detected this gun at Philadelphia International Airport on April 27. (TSA)

Weekly Update: TSA Firearm Detections

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a man from carrying a loaded pistol onto his flight at Dane County Regional Airport on April 26. This was the third firearm detected at the airport this year. The TSA officer detected a loaded .9mm pistol along with two magazines in the passenger’s carry-on bag during security screening. TSA immediately alerted a Dane County Sheriff who took possession of the firearm and arrested the St. Louis, Missouri, resident for carrying a concealed weapon. The man was heading to Minneapolis. This was the third firearm detected at the airport this year. A total of nine firearms have been detected at TSA security checkpoints in Wisconsin so far in 2021.

A local man was arrested by police on April 27 after TSA officers at Philadelphia International Airport caught a .40 caliber handgun loaded with eight bullets in his carry-on bag at one of the security checkpoints on April 27. The TSA team alerted the Philadelphia Police, who confiscated the handgun and arrested the man. The gun had been reported to authorities as having been stolen. In addition to being arrested, the man also faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty for carrying a loaded gun to an airport checkpoint.  

Two days prior, Philadelphia International’s TSA officers caught a loaded handgun in a Delaware County, Pennsylvania, man’s carry-on bag at one of the security checkpoints. As with the later incident, the TSA team alerted the Philadelphia Police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the handgun and cited the man, a resident of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. He also faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty.

On April 29, TSA officers at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport prevented a Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, man with a 9mm handgun loaded with 10 bullets and two additional gun magazines loaded with 10 bullets each from boarding his flight with the gun. A TSA officer spotted the handgun and additional loaded magazines in the man’s carry-on bag while it was inside the checkpoint X-ray machine. TSA immediately alerted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, who arrived at the checkpoint, confiscated the items and detained the man for questioning before arresting him on weapons charges. The Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, man told officials that he uses the bag when he practices at a shooting range and he forgot that he had the gun and ammunition with him. He now faces a stiff federal financial penalty.

The same day, TSA officers at Lehigh Valley International Airport detected a handgun loaded with seven bullets at the security checkpoint. TSA officers spotted the loaded gun in the man’s carry-on bag and alerted the airport authority police, who arrived at the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and arrested the man, a resident of Lehighton, Pennsylvania.  

Also on the 29th, TSA officers prevented a New York City woman from carrying a 9 mm handgun loaded with five bullets onto her flight at LaGuardia Airport. A TSA officer spotted the handgun on the checkpoint X-ray machine’s monitor. TSA immediately alerted the Port Authority Police, which responded to the checkpoint, and detained the woman for questioning before arresting her on a weapons charge. In addition to being arrested, she also faces a stiff federal civil penalty for bringing a gun to an airport security checkpoint. The woman told officials that she picked up the wrong bag to take on her trip and instead of taking the right bag, she took one with a loaded gun in it.

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Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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