DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — A Michigan man was cited after a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer caught him with a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag at a security checkpoint at the Harrisburg International Airport early Wednesday morning.
The .38 caliber revolver was loaded with five bullets, authorities said.
It was the ninth gun picked off at the airport's TSA checkpoint so far this year, said TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein. This is a record high number caught at the airport in a single year in the 21-year history of TSA, Farbstein added.
A TSA officer spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine and alerted police. TSA also forwarded the incident to be followed up with the issuance of a federal financial civil penalty.
“Our officers are good at their jobs and are focused on their mission,” said Karen Keys-Turner, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “If you own a firearm, it is your responsibility to know where it is at all times and know that it cannot go through an airport security checkpoint. This individual now faces a stiff financial civil penalty.”
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.
When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. Guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.
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 2021, about 86 percent were loaded.