Adams County Man Caught With Loaded Gun At Airport: TSA

A central Pennsylvania man apparently thought he was about to star in a summer blockbuster this "Independence Day" as he attempted to get on a flight with a loaded handgun, authorities say.

The seized gun and ammunition.
The seized gun and ammunition. Photo Credit: TSA

The unidentified East Berlin resident was stopped at the X-ray machine when a Transportation Security Administration officer detected ammunition in his carry-on bag at Harrisburg International Airport on Monday, July 4.

He was pulled aside, searched, and "found with a .25 caliber handgun loaded with six bullets along with two boxes of ammunition among his carry-on items," TSA states in a release.

The police were alerted and police officers confiscated the gun and ammunition, as well as detaining him for questioning.

TSA issued the man "a federal financial civil penalty," as stated in the release.

It was the fifth gun that TSA officers have detected at the airport checkpoint so far this year.

“Bringing a loaded gun to a security checkpoint is a serious offense,” said Karen Keys-Turner, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “It was a busy holiday of travel and bringing a loaded gun to the airport is an accident waiting to happen. Travelers should know better. Guns have been prohibited from being carried onto planes for decades before TSA even existed. So it should be no surprise when someone is stopped at our checkpoint, has their weapon confiscated by police and is then heavily fined by TSA.”

Nationwide, TSA officers detected 5,972 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year. Of the guns caught by TSA in 2022, about 86 percent were loaded.

Passengers may transport firearms in checked bags if they are properly packed and declared. Details on how to properly travel with a firearm are posted on the TSA website. 

The maximum fine the man faces is $13,900, TSA officials say.

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