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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Six Loaded Firearms Stopped in Eleven Days by TSA Officers at Puget Sound Airports

“I am hopeful that the discovery of six firearms so far this month at the two Puget Sound airports will serve as a wake-up call for anyone who wants to travel with a firearm,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Washington Gregory Hawko.

Officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Paine Field (PAE) and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) have discovered six loaded firearms so far this month in travelers’ carry-on luggage during routine X-ray screening at the airports’ security checkpoints.

The latest firearm discovery occurred Thursday, May 11 around 8:40 a.m. at PAE when a TSA officer spotted the image of a firearm on the X-ray screen. TSA notified deputies with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department. They responded to the security checkpoint and removed the loaded firearm – a 9 mm Sig Sauer handgun – from the X-ray tunnel. The passenger, who was ticketed for travel to San Francisco International Airport, was escorted out of the security checkpoint by law enforcement.

On Wednesday, May 10 around 5:30 a.m., TSA officers at SEA discovered a loaded 9 mm Glock pistol and 24 rounds of ammunition in the carry-on luggage of a traveler ticketed for travel to Los Angeles International Airport. TSA notified officers with the Port of Seattle Police Department who responded and removed the firearm from the X-ray tunnel. The traveler was cited on a state charge and allowed to rebook his flight.

In addition to these two firearm discoveries detailed above, TSA officers in the Puget Sound region discovered a loaded firearm at PAE on Thursday, May 6 as well as loaded firearms at SEA on Saturday, May 1; Sunday, May 2; and Tuesday, May 4. The total for firearm discoveries in May at these two airports is six.

So far in 2023, TSA has found three firearms in carry-on luggage at PAE and 39 at SEA. In all of 2022, TSA officers discovered four firearms at PAE and 113 at SEA.

“I am hopeful that the discovery of six firearms so far this month at the two Puget Sound airports will serve as a wake-up call for anyone who wants to travel with a firearm,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Washington Gregory Hawko. “As a community, we continue to ask firearm owners to pause and commit to doing better when traveling with a gun. I remain grateful for the TSA officers who work daily to ensure the safety and security of the traveling public and keep potential threats out of the cabins of aircraft.”

TSA will review the circumstances of the firearm incidents and levy a civil penalty against the passengers. The recommended civil penalty for a firearm starts at $2,050 and can go up to the statutory maximum of more than $14,950 per violation. TSA evaluates each incident on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to civil penalties, individuals who violate rules regarding traveling with firearms will have Trusted Traveler status and TSA PreCheck® expedited screening benefits revoked for a period of time. The duration of the disqualification will depend upon the seriousness of the offense and if there is a repeated history of violations. Even if a traveler has a concealed weapons permit, firearms are never permitted in carry-on luggage.

Firearms can be transported on a commercial aircraft only if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and placed in checked baggage. Ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames, receivers, clips and magazines are also prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be checked. Any type of replica firearm is prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be transported in checked luggage.

At the airport during the check-in process, a passenger should go to the airline ticket counter to declare the firearm, ammunition and any firearm parts. Prior to traveling, passengers are encouraged to check gun laws and regulations at their destination to ensure they are in compliance with local and state laws. TSA also recommends travelers check with their airline prior to their flight to ensure they comply with any airline-specific requirements.

Read more at TSA

Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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