‘I forgot’: Vegas resident returning home with loaded gun at Newark airport, TSA says
A Las Vegas resident caught with a loaded gun at a Newark airport security checkpoint told officers he drove to Connecticut with it in his backpack, then forgot he was was there, the TSA said.
Port Authority police seized the handgun and arrested the man on weapons charges after a Transportation Security Administration officer spotted the weapon in a Terminal A X-ray monitor, the gate said. -TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein on Tuesday, March 22.
“The man told authorities he drove from his home in Las Vegas to Connecticut and brought his handgun with him in his backpack for the ride,” Farbstein said. “He said he was planning to go home, but forgot he had his loaded gun with him.”
Thomas Carter, the TSA’s director of federal security for New Jersey, called it “a very costly mistake to make.”
“If you own a gun, you really need to know where it is at all times,” Carter said. “It’s just part of being a responsible gun owner.
“Not only has he been arrested, but he also faces a heavy federal financial penalty,” the director said.
Travelers cannot carry firearms on planes under any circumstances, Farbstein said. You can travel with them in checked baggage – and only if they are properly packed and declared at the counter of their plane ticket.
Firearms should be unloaded in a locked, hard-sided case packed separately from ammunition, Farbstein noted. The locked suitcase must be taken to the airline’s check-in counter to be declared, she said.
The TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website: Transportation of Firearms and Ammunition (TSA.gov)
Civil penalties for smuggling a handgun into a checkpoint can run into the thousands of dollars, depending on a variety of circumstances, Farbstein said. This applies to travelers with or without a concealed carry permit.
You can find the penalties here: Civil application (TSA.gov)
PreCheck members also lose their privileges, Farbstein noted.
“Gun ownership laws vary by state and locality,” she said. “Passengers should do their homework to ensure they are not violating any local firearms laws. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition .
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