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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

TSA Officers Prevent Ohio Man from Bringing Loaded Gun onto Flight at Huntington Tri-State Airport

A Lawrence County, Ohio, man was cited by police after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Huntington Tri-State Airport detected a handgun in the man’s carry-on bag on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the day before Thanksgiving, which is one of the busiest travel days of the year. The .380 caliber gun was loaded with six bullets, including one in the chamber.

The gun was caught as the man, a resident of Proctorville, Ohio, 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 who confiscated the gun and cited the man on a weapons charge.

In addition to the criminal citation issued by the police, the man also faces a stiff financial civil penalty from TSA. The penalty for carrying weapons was recently increased to a maximum of $15,000.

“This was the third gun that our team has prevented from being carried onto a flight so far this year. The TSA officers in Huntington perform their jobs exceptionally well, and they are ever vigilant during the holiday travel periods,” said John C. Allen, TSA’s Federal Security Director for West Virginia. “When dangerous items such as loaded guns are brought to a security checkpoint, it represents a serious security and safety concern. Individuals are not permitted to carry a firearm through a security checkpoint— not someone with a concealed weapons permit, not someone who is enrolled in TSA PreCheck®, not an airport worker and not a traveler.”

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 should be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and gun owners have a duty to ensure they are not violating any local firearm laws. Additionally, contacting the respective airline could reveal any additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Bringing a gun to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil penalty because TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. 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. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. 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 airport security checkpoints nationwide and already this year TSA officers have detected more than 6,000 guns, which is on pace to pass the 2022 figure.

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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