TSA discovers firearm in luggage at Harrisburg International Airport

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This loaded .380 caliber Ruger firearm was discovered by TSA officers at Harrisburg International Airport on February 10. (Photo courtesy of TSA)

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A loaded .380 caliber Ruger firearm was discovered yesterday by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the carry-on luggage of a 23 year-old male passenger flying from Harrisburg International Airport (MDT) to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) on February 10th. When discovered, TSA immediately notified local law enforcement, who responded to the checkpoint to interview the passenger.

This is the first firearm discovered in carry-on luggage at Harrisburg International Airport this calendar year. Every time TSA discovers a firearm in a bag at the checkpoint it delays the screening process for all travelers at the checkpoint.

TSA screens approximately 1.8 million passengers and their luggage every day for prohibited items, including weapons and explosives. To do this, TSA uses imaging technology to safely screen passengers for any items which may be concealed under clothing, while advanced technology x-ray units screen all carry-on baggage. TSA takes the discovery of prohibited items seriously and urges all passengers to check the contents of their bags before leaving home to ensure they are not bringing any prohibited items to the airport — including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition. Firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline.

Individuals who bring firearms to security checkpoints are referred to law enforcement and are subject to criminal penalties. TSA imposes civil penalties ranging from $1,500 up to $11,000 for a single violation of a firearm brought to a security checkpoint. TSA continues to intercept firearms and other dangerous weapons at security checkpoints nationwide. TSA discovered more than 1,800 firearms at checkpoints across the nation in 2013 and more than 2,200 firearms in 2014.

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