Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped two firearms from making their way onboard airplanes at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in separate incidents this week.
In both incidents, passengers presented their carry-on bags for screening, and a TSA officer detected the image of a handgun inside. Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) police were notified and took possession of the weapons at the checkpoint. The incidents occurred:
- Monday, Sept. 4, around 5:37 a.m. The firearm was loaded.
- Tuesday, Sept. 5, around 5:41 a.m. This firearm was also loaded.
“We have seen one of the busiest summer travel seasons on record and detecting prohibited or illegal items in security checkpoints slows down the screening process,” said New Jersey’s TSA Federal Security Director Thomas Carter. “Guns are never allowed in carry-on luggage. Travelers are allowed to bring their firearms if they declare the weapon with their airline, pack it in a locked, hard-sided case, and only in their checked bag.”
Individuals who bring their gun to a security checkpoint also face a federal financial civil penalty that can reach as high as $14,950, depending on the circumstances. TSA determines the penalty amount for a violation based on the circumstances in each case. TSA will continue to revoke TSA PreCheck® eligibility for at least five years for passengers caught with a firearm in their possession.
Including these two, a total of 16 firearms have been detected at EWR this year. In 2022, 14 firearms were detected at EWR security checkpoints and 12 in 2021.