Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Newark Liberty International Airport prevented two guns from being carried onto flights within a short seven-day timeframe.
A Fort Lee, N.J. man was caught with a loaded .380 caliber gun in his duffle bag on Aug. 25, seven days after a woman who works in one of the airport retail shops was stopped with her loaded 9mm gun at the checkpoint on her way to work on Aug. 18.
In each instance when the handguns were spotted in the checkpoint X-ray machine, Port Authority Police were alerted, came to the checkpoints, took possession of the firearms and interviewed the individuals. The woman, a resident of Newark, N.J., was arrested on a weapons charge and her airport ID was confiscated. Without the proper airport ID credentials, she can no longer work at the airport.
In addition to being arrested, the individual also faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty for bringing a gun to a security checkpoint. The penalty for bringing a weapon to a TSA checkpoint can cost as much as $15,000, depending on the circumstances.
“There is absolutely no excuse for bringing a firearm to one of our checkpoints,” said Thomas Carter, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the New Jersey. “Travelers are responsible for the items that they have in their possession. I strongly encourage gun owners to take a few moments before they come to the airport to refresh their familiarity with the proper procedures on how to pack a gun for a flight. Firearms should never be brought to the security checkpoint in carry-on luggage. Responsible gun owners know this.”
The gun catches marked the 13th and 14th firearms caught at the airport so far this year, which ties the record for the most guns caught at the airport in a single year.