Two men arrested after TSA caught them with guns at Newark-Liberty International Airport
Two men were arrested by police after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers caught them with guns at security checkpoints less than a week apart.
A TSA officer arrested a man in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, with a gun in his backpack on Friday, June 11, in Terminal C.
The weapon was packaged inside two soft zippered holsters in a backpack and initially appeared to be a large belt buckle with a replica weapon on it, but on closer inspection it became turned out to be a real gun that could pop out of its decorative metal oval frame.
The man told authorities he forgot he had his gun with him.
TSA officials said on June 3 that officers caught a man in Easton, Pa., With a handgun in his purse at one of the checkpoints at Terminal A. He also said to officials that he forgot he carried a gun with him.
In each case, TSA officers spotted the handguns inside the carry-on baggage as they entered a checkpoint x-ray unit.
Port authority police were alerted, confiscated the weapons and arrested the men accused of weapons.
“To pretend you forget you have a gun with you is inexcusable,” said Thomas Carter, TSA’s federal director of security for New Jersey.
“If you have a gun, you need to know where it is at all times. Each of these people now faces a hefty federal financial penalty that could cost them thousands of dollars. “
TSA agents in Newark “are good at their jobs, and even during this pandemic, they remain vigilant and focused on their mission,” Carter added.
The TSA reserves the right to impose a civil sanction on travelers who have firearms and firearm parts with them at a checkpoint.
Civil penalties for bringing a handgun to a checkpoint can reach thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating circumstances.
This applies to travelers with or without a concealed weapon license, because although a person may have a concealed transport permit, it does not allow a firearm to be transported on an airplane.
The full list of civil penalties is put online. If a traveler with a firearm is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that person will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.
When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane stops until the police resolve the incident.
Firearms at checkpoints can delay travelers’ access to their doors.
Passengers are allowed to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packed and declared at their plane ticket counter to be carried in the belly of the plane.
It is absolutely forbidden to transport firearms on planes. Controlled firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard case, locked and packed separately from ammunition.
The TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm displayed on its website. Firearm ownership laws vary by state and locality, and travelers should check gun laws before deciding to travel with their firearms.
Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.
Across the country, TSA agents detected 3,257 firearms on passengers or their hand luggage at checkpoints last year, although the total number of passengers screened at airport checkpoints across the country is down by 500 million from 2019 due to the pandemic.
The result was that twice as many firearms per million passengers screened were detected at checkpoints in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, the TSA captured around 10 firearms per million passengers, compared to around five firearms per million passengers in 2019.
Of the guns captured by the TSA in 2020, around 83% were loaded.