TSA agents stop man from boarding plane with loaded handgun at Williamsport Regional Airport

LYCOMING COUNTY — Transportation Security Administration officers stopped a Cogan Station man who was attempting to board a plane with a loaded .25-caliber handgun at Williamsport Regional Airport Saturday, the agency announced.

The gun had a round in the chamber, the TSA said.

The gun was found when TSA agents spotted it at a security checkpoint. It was the first gun caught at the airport’s checkpoint this year, the TSA said.

Nationwide last year, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 11.6 firearms per day, according to the TSA. That’s an approximate increase of seven percent from 2017, the TSA said. Eighty-six percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded and nearly 34% had a bullet in the chamber.

As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. Even travelers with concealed firearm permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes in their carry-on bags, the TSA said.

In addition, TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,333 for weapons violations. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100, according to the TSA.

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