On December 28, 2023, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut intercepted a loaded firearm in the carry-on bag of a Massachusetts resident. This incident marks the eighth firearm detected by TSA at Bradley International Airport in 2023.
The discovery occurred during routine security screening on Thursday morning. TSA officers, upon detecting the firearm, promptly alerted the Connecticut State Police (CSP). CSP officers conducted a thorough examination and found a loaded .380 caliber firearm with six rounds in the passenger’s bag. Following the discovery, the 56-year-old male passenger from Massachusetts was arrested on a state charge.
Potential Civil Penalties for Carrying Firearms at Checkpoints
TSA has stringent regulations regarding firearms at security checkpoints. Travelers found with firearms, whether loaded or unloaded, are subject to civil penalties. For a first offense involving a loaded gun at a checkpoint, the penalty can range from $3,000 to $15,000, based on the circumstances of the violation. This applies equally to individuals with or without concealed gun carry permits, as these permits do not extend to carrying firearms on airplanes.
Guidelines for Traveling with Firearms in Checked Luggage
Moreover, TSA emphasizes that travelers with TSA PreCheck® privileges will lose these benefits if found traveling with a firearm. While firearms are not allowed in carry-on bags, passengers can transport them in checked baggage. The stipulations for this include ensuring the firearms are unloaded, packed in a locked hardback case, and declared at the airline check-in counter. Both TSA and individual airlines provide detailed guidelines on how to travel legally and safely with firearms and ammunition.
This incident serves as a critical reminder of the importance of adhering to TSA regulations and the serious consequences of non-compliance. TSA continues to enforce strict security measures to ensure the safety of all travelers.
“It is disturbing that some firearm owners continue to bring loaded firearms into an airport security acreening area,” said William Csontos, TSA Federal Security Director for Connecticut. “Loaded firearms at TSA security checkpoints present an unacceptable safety and security risk to other passengers.”