A Berks County man was stopped at a Harrisburg International Airport security checkpoint with a loaded gun, according to a TSA press release.
The man, a Reading resident not identified in the release, was found Sunday with a 9mm handgun loaded with nine bullets.
A TSA officer spotted the firearm and bullets in a checkpoint X-ray machine and alerted police.
“This individual told our TSA officers that he forgot that he had his gun with him,” Karen Keys-Turner, TSA’s federal security director for the airport, said in the release. “If you own a firearm, it is your responsibility to know where it is at all times.”
The man will face a civil penalty of up to $13,900 for the violation, the TSA said.
Civil penalties for bringing a handgun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating or aggravating circumstances, the agency said.
This applies to travelers with or without concealed-carry permits, since the permit doesn’t allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane, the release notes.
Those who attempt to bring weapons through a checkpoint will also lose any precheck privileges they might have.
The TSA also noted that finding a gun at a checkpoint may cause delays for other travelers as well, since the checkpoint comes to a standstill until police resolve the incident.
Travelers are allowed to transport their firearms as checked baggage if they are properly packed and declared at their airline ticket counter.
Checked firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition.
Details on how to properly pack a firearm are available on the TSA’s website.
Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.
Nationwide, TSA officers detected 5,972 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year. Of the guns caught by TSA in 2022, about 86 percent were loaded.
Source: Berkshire mont
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