TSA prevents Mohnton man from bringing loaded gun onto plane at Philadelphia International Airport

A Berks County man was cited by police Monday, July 8, at Philadelphia International Airport after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers detected a firearm among the man’s carry-on items at one of the airport security checkpoints. The .45 caliber gun was loaded with 11 bullets, including one in the chamber.

“Bringing a loaded gun to an airport security checkpoint introduces an unnecessary security risk to our officers and to fellow travelers,” said Gerardo Spero, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport.

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“We have no issues with people who pack their firearms properly for a flight. Bringing a loaded handgun to our checkpoints isn’t the way to do it. The proper way is to pack your unloaded firearm in a locked hard-sided case. Then take the case to your airline check-in counter and declare that you want to travel with it. The airline will make sure it is transported in the belly of the plane so that nobody has access to it during the flight. It’s a fairly simple process. Instead, this individual, a resident of Mohnton, Pa., faces a federal financial civil penalty in addition to having to deal with the criminal citation issued by the police.”

TSA has details on how to travel with a firearm and ammunition posted on its web site. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and passengers should do their homework to make sure that they are not violating any local firearm laws. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Bringing a gun to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil penalty because TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to individuals who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint.

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Civil penalties for bringing a gun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating circumstances. This applies to individuals with or without concealed gun carry permits because a concealed carry permit does not allow a firearm to be carried through a checkpoint. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. Additionally, if a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

Unsure if an item should be packed in a carry-on bag, checked bag, either or neither? Download the free myTSA app, which has a handy “What can I bring?” feature that allows you to type in the item to find out if it can fly. Or ask on Twitter or Facebook Messenger at @AskTSA. Travelers may send a question by texting “Travel” to AskTSA (275-872).

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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