A man from Brooklyn was arrested on Tuesday after attempting to bring a loaded firearm and more than 100 bullets through a security checkpoint at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers identified a .22-caliber firearm in the man’s carry-on bag during an X-ray screening, which triggered an alarm. Fox News reports officers searched the bag and found the loaded gun and two boxes, each containing 50 bullets.
The man informed TSA officials that he had forgotten about the firearm and ammunition in his bag after using it at a shooting range. Unfortunately, his excuse did not prevent his arrest. He now faces a weapons charge and a potential federal penalty of up to $15,000.
Guns At Airports Across The U.S.
This incident marks the second firearm detected at LaGuardia Airport’s security checkpoints this year. According to TSA data, officers detected 1,508 firearms in carry-on luggage at airport security checkpoints during the first three months of 2023. This data reflects a 10.3% increase from the same period last year. Of these firearms, 93% were loaded.
“People carrying guns to our checkpoints represent a serious security and safety concern,” said Robert Duffy, TSA’s federal security director for the airport. “The fact that the majority of people tell us that they forgot that they had their loaded gun with them is equally disconcerting. If you own a firearm, you need to know where it is at all times. That’s part of being a responsible gun owner.”
While flying is a convenient form of travel, it’s important to remember the strict regulations around items allowed on board. The TSA’s detection of firearms and ammunition at security checkpoints emphasizes the importance of adhering to security protocols and restrictions to ensure the safety of all passengers and personnel.
Passengers should review the TSA’s website for up-to-date information on prohibited items, including firearms and ammunition. It’s also a good idea to check bags thoroughly to ensure prohibited items are not in your luggage before heading to the airport. This is particularly critical after visiting shooting ranges or similar facilities. By following these guidelines, travelers can help to ensure a smooth and safe journey for themselves and their fellow passengers.