The July Fourth weekend started off at Newark Airport's TSA security checkpoints with what wasn't exactly a bang but still drew a lot of attention.
A TSA officer at a checkpoint X-ray monitor spotted a gun inside a traveler's carry-on bag, agency spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said.
It was the 10th firearm picked off at a Newark Airport checkpoint this year, she said.
The man told officials that he "forgot that he had his loaded gun with him," Farbstein said.
Port Authority police were alerted and took him into custody, Farbstein said.
“This is lining up to be what is likely the busiest travel weekend since the start of the pandemic and it’s no time to be bringing a deadly weapon such as a loaded handgun to a security checkpoint,” said Thomas Carter, the TSA’s federal security director for New Jersey.
“Not only is it illegal to carry a gun through a security checkpoint, but it is also disruptive to the security operation," Carter said. "It delays the travelers in line when a gun is detected. You can’t just toss a loaded into a carry-on bag and then head to the airport.
"This individual now faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty.”
Newark Liberty has had what the TSA and Port Authority say are an alarming amount of guns seized from passengers trying to board planes with them.
And most of those things are loaded.SEE: Guns, Excuses Piling Up At Newark Airport Checkpoints
Civil fines exceed $13,000 per violation.
This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits.
If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose the privilege.
Then there are the criminal ramifications.
“Make no mistake,” Port Authority Chief Security Officer John Bilich said. “Those who break the law will be held accountable.”
Passengers can travel with firearms in checked bags if they are properly packaged and declared at the airline ticket counter.
Guns must be unloaded, placed in a hard-sided locked case and packed separately from ammunition. Then the locked case must be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared.
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