A South Dakota man was stopped at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield after security screeners found a loaded gun inside his carry-on luggage.
Transportation Security Administration officers found the .380-caliber handgun loaded with six bullets on Tuesday when it entered a checkpoint X-ray machine. Omaha Airport Authority police were alerted and confiscated the gun from the man, who said he forgot he had his gun with him.
“Claiming that you forgot that you had a loaded gun with you is no excuse,” said Michael Fowler, TSA’s federal security director for Nebraska. “If you own a firearm, you should know where it is at all times.”
TSA can issue a financial penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint. The penalty for a typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100, but it can go as high as $13,669, depending on the circumstances.
Nationwide last year, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 12.1 firearms per day. That’s approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website, tsa.gov. Travelers also should contact their airline, as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.