UPDATE: TSA catches another loaded handgun at Huntington Tri-State Airport

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WTAP) - UPDATE: 7/15/19 12:20 P.M.

For the second time in less than a week, a passenger from Florida has been caught with a loaded handgun at Huntington's Tri-State Airport.

According to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, officers found a .380-caliber handgun when a Pinnelas County, Florida, man tried to go through the airport's checkpoint on Sunday.

The TSA said officers spotted the gun, which was loaded with six bullets, when the man's belongings entered an X-ray machine. Officers detained him for questioning and confiscated the gun.

TSA officers caught two firearms at the airport's checkpoint in 2018, but this is the sixth one this year and the second one within a four-day span. A Hillsborough County, Florida, man was caught with a loaded .40 caliber handgun in his carry-on bag on July 10.

The TSA said passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition.

Nationwide last year, the TSA said 4,239 firearms were found in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, approximately a 7 percent increase from the total of 3,957 detected in 2017. Eighty-six percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded and nearly 34 percent had a bullet in the chamber.


ORIGINAL STORY: 7/11/19

A Hillsborough County, Florida, man was caught by Transportation Security Administration officers with a loaded .40 caliber handgun in his carry-on bag at the Huntington Tri-State Airport on July 10.

It marked the fifth gun caught at the airport’s checkpoint so far this year, more than twice as many as were caught in 2018 in just the first half of 2019. TSA officers caught two firearms at the HTS checkpoint in 2018.

TSA officers spotted the gun, which was loaded with six bullets, when the man’s belongings entered the X-ray machine. They contacted the airport police, who arrived at the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and detained the man, a resident of Seffner, Florida, for questioning. The man told officials that he forgot that he had his loaded gun in his backpack.

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.

Nationwide last year, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 11.6 firearms per day, approximately a 7% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 3,957 detected in 2017. Eighty-six percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded and nearly 34% had a bullet in the chamber.

As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. Even travelers with concealed firearm permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes in their carry-on bags. If an individual is a TSA Pre✓® member, then that person could even lose TSA Pre✓® status. In addition, TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,333 for weapons violations. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $4,000. The complete list of penalties is posted online.

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.



 
Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus