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After loaded handgun found at Erie airport, Edinboro man faces civil penalty

In World
June 03, 2024

An Edinboro man attempting to catch a flight out of the Erie International Airport on Monday morning is facing a civil penalty after Transportation Security Administration officials said they found a loaded handgun in his backpack.

The man, whose name and age were not released by authorities, was carrying a .38-caliber handgun that was loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber, when it was found among his carry-on items while he was going through the screening process, the TSA announced in a news release.

The screening process was halted and police were notified. Officers responded to the checkpoint and took possession of the gun, according to the agency.

Travelers are prohibited from carrying firearms into or through a security checkpoint. The Edinboro man now faces a civil financial penalty that could reach a maximum of $15,000, according to the TSA.

“It is disappointing to see travelers bring their firearms to our checkpoints instead of properly packing them for a flight,” Karen Keys-Turner, TSA’s federal security director for the Erie International Airport, was quoted in the news release. “If you want to travel with your firearm, all we ask is that you pack it the right way for a flight.”

Airline passengers are only permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage. The firearms must be unloaded and packed in a hard-sided locked case, and the case must be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared, according to the TSA.

More information on how to travel with a firearm is posted on the TSA’s website.

The TSA reported in January that it intercepted 6,737 firearms at airport security checkpoints nationwide in 2023, with 93% of those guns loaded. The number surpassed the previous year’s record of 6,542 guns found at checkpoints and represented the highest one-year total in TSA’s history, according to the agency.

More: Crawford man faces civil penalty after handgun found in bag at Erie International Airport

One of those firearms recovered last year was a loaded .380-caliber gun found at the Erie International Airport in February 2023, in the carry-on bag of a Crawford County man, the TSA reported at the time. Two months before that incident, security screeners found a .380-caliber handgun packed alongside a loaded magazine in an Erie man’s bag during check-in, the agency reported.

Contact Tim Hahn at thahn@timesnews.com. Follow him on X @ETNhahn.

This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: TSA seizes loaded gun from Edinboro man at Erie International Airport

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