OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — A Hamilton County man was stopped at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint at Eppley Airfield on Wednesday when TSA officers detected a .22 caliber handgun loaded with 14 bullets, including one in the chamber, tucked into his carry-on bag.
TSA officials notified the airport police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and stopped the man for questioning.
When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident, according to the TSA. Guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.
“Even during this pandemic, our TSA officers remain laser focused on their jobs,” said Michael Fowler, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Nebraska. “Tossing a loaded gun into a carry-on bag is never a safe way to travel with a firearm. Guns should be transported unloaded and packed in a hard-sided case. Put a lock on the case and take it to the check-in counter of your airline and the airline representative will make sure that the gun travels with the rest of the checked baggage so that nobody has access to it during the flight.”
TSA has the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint. 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.
Nationwide last year, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 12.1 firearms per day, approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018. Eighty-seven percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded.
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.