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Pennsylvania man arrested on Thanksgiving with loaded gun at a Newark Liberty International Airport checkpoint

NEWARK, N.J.— A Delaware County, Pa., man was arrested by police on Thanksgiving after Transportation Security Administration officers stopped him with a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag in Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport. The man, a resident of Newtown Square, Pa., was the third individual arrested by police this month at Newark after TSA officers detected guns among the accessible property of each of the three individuals.

The 9 mm handgun caught yesterday was loaded with 13 bullets, including one in the chamber. It marked the 14th gun caught at one of the airport checkpoints so far this year and tied the record for the most guns caught at the airport in a single year with a full month remaining in 2022.

“Getting caught with and arrested for carrying a loaded gun at our airport means this individual had a pretty bad Thanksgiving,” said Thomas Carter, TSA Federal Security Director for New Jersey. “Our TSA officers are on the job this busy holiday weekend so that others can reach their destinations safely and spend the holiday with their family and friends. Our team is staying vigilant and focused on the mission to help ensure that prohibited items are not carried onto a flight. Not only was this man arrested, but he also now faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty that could run into thousands of dollars.”

As for guns, TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.

Bringing a gun to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil penalty because TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. Civil penalties for bringing a handgun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. Additionally, if a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and passengers should do their homework to make sure that they are not violating any local firearm laws. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Last year TSA officers detected 5,972 guns at security checkpoints nationwide and 86 percent of them were loaded.

TSA firearms catches at Newark Liberty International Airport checkpoints, 2017 to 2022

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

(As of 11/24/22)

Guns caught at Newark Liberty International Airport checkpoints

6

14

11

11

12

14

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