March 9, 2022
NEWARK, N.J.— A woman from Louisiana was arrested by police after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers prevented her from carrying a loaded handgun onto her flight on Tuesday, March 8, at Newark Liberty International Airport.
The .40 caliber gun was not loaded, but was accompanied by a gun magazine that was loaded with five bullets. It was spotted inside one of the woman’s carry-on bags when a TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray monitor spotted the weapon. TSA then alerted Port Authority Police who confiscated the handgun and arrested the woman, a resident of New Orleans, on weapons charges.
“Running late for a flight is no excuse for bringing a gun to a security checkpoint. If you want to transport your gun for your flight, you need to take the time to properly pack it, just like you take the time to pack your other items for a trip,” said Thomas Carter, TSA’s Federal Security Director for New Jersey. “That means packing your unloaded firearm in a hard-sided locked case and then taking it to the airline check-in counter to declare it. The airline will ensure it is transported in checked baggage.”
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.
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 handgun 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 even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for 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.
Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and passengers should do their homework to make sure that they are not violating any local firearm laws. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.
Last year TSA officers detected 5,972 guns at security checkpoints nationwide and 86 percent of them were loaded.
TSA firearms catches at Newark Liberty International Airport checkpoints, 2017 to 2022
|Year||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021||2022(As of 3/8/22)|
|Guns caught at Newark Liberty International Airport checkpoints||6||14||11||11||12||3|