TSA officers at Newark Liberty International Airport thwarted an attempt by a Monroe County, PA, traveler to board a flight with a loaded 9mm handgun on Saturday, Sept. 16.
The firearm was discovered in the man's backpack during routine security screening.
According to TSA officials, the incident led to the alerting of Port Authority Police, who swiftly intervened at the Terminal C checkpoint.
After confiscating the firearm, the police arrested the traveler, a Canadensis, Pa., resident, on a state weapons charge.
Thomas Carter, TSA's Federal Security Director for New Jersey, urged travelers to be more cautious, noting, "Our officers have caught more guns in the first nine months of this year than in any full year prior. It feels like there's a surge of firearms at our checkpoints."
Aside from the arrest, the traveler could face a federal financial penalty, which can soar up to $15,000 based on the situation.
TSA emphasized that carrying firearms is prohibited on airplanes, regardless of whether one has a concealed carry permit. Even if they are members of TSA PreCheck®, those found violating this may lose their privileges.
TSA advises travelers to be well-acquainted with the contents of their carry-ons before reaching security.
They provide several resources, including the "Can I Bring?" feature on their website and mobile app, to clarify what items are permissible onboard.