7 guns from 7 passengers confiscated in 7 days at Salt Lake airport

(Transportation Security Administration)

CASPER, Wyo. — Seven different firearms were confiscated from seven different passengers in the past seven days at the Salt Lake City International Airport.

“The latest firearm discovery occurred today around 7:40 a.m. when a TSA officer spotted the image of a gun on the X-ray screen in the bag of a male passenger ticketed for travel to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport,” the Transportation Security Administration said on Wednesday, Oct. 9. “The gun was a loaded 9 mm Smith & Wesson pistol with an additional magazine and 15 rounds of ammunition.”

The other firearm discoveries include:

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  • Thursday, Oct. 3 around 7:15 pm: “[A] male passenger headed to Oakland International Airport had a loaded 9 mm Smith & Wesson M&P Shield gun in his carry-on bag and eight rounds of ammunition.
  • Friday, Oct. 4 at 2:30 p.m.: “[A] loaded .380 caliber Kel-Tec firearm and five rounds of ammunition were discovered in the bag of a male passenger traveling to San Diego International Airport (SAN).
  •  Saturday, Oct. 5 at 5:15 a.m: “SLC TSA officers discovered a loaded 9 mm FN Herstal FNS-9 gun and 17 rounds of ammunition in a carry-on bag of a male traveler going to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.”
  • Sunday, Oct. 6: “[A] female traveler ticketed for travel to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport had a loaded .22 caliber North American Arms firearm and five rounds of ammunition in her carry-on luggage.”
  • Monday, Oct. 7 around 7:50 a.m.: “TSA officers discovered a loaded .380 caliber Ruger LCP firearm and six rounds of ammunition in a female traveler’s carry-on bag on her way to SAN.”
  • Tuesday, Oct. 8: “TSA officers discovered an unloaded .22 caliber Ruger Sturm firearm at around 7:55 a.m. in carry-on luggage of a male passenger ticketed for travel to John F. Kennedy International Airport. In addition to the firearm, there were 97 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition in the bag.”

“These seven firearms bring the total number of firearms discovered by TSA at SLC in 2019 to 65,” the TSA adds. “In all of 2018, TSA officers at SLC discovered 73 firearms in carry-on luggage. Nationwide, TSA officers have discovered more than 3,300 firearms in carry-on luggage so far this year.”

The TSA says in each of the seven cases, the firearms were dicovered during routine carry-on luggage screening.

“Once the image of the firearm appeared on the X-ray screen, TSA notified the Salt Lake City Police Airport Bureau and they responded to the security checkpoint, taking custody of the firearm and interviewing the travelers,” the TSA adds. “There is no indication that these seven incidents are related or pose a threat to the traveling public’s safety.”

The individuals in each case could face civil penalties ranging from $2,050 to $10,250 per violation. They may also have their “Trusted Traveler status and TSA Pre✓® expedited screening benefits revoked for a period of time.”

“’This string of firearm discoveries should serve as a reminder to all travelers – especially gun owners – to double-check their belongings before they come to the airport to catch a flight to ensure there is nothing dangerous or prohibited in their carry-on luggage,’ said TSA Federal Security Director for Utah Mark Lewis. ‘There is no excuse for bringing a firearm to the security checkpoint when there is an established and accepted procedure for packing a firearm for travel in checked luggage.’”

The TSA says firearms can be transported on commercial aircraft if they are:

  • unloaded
  • packed in a locked, hard-sided case
  • placed in checked baggage

“Ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames, receivers, clips and magazines are also prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be checked,” they add. “Any type of replica firearm is prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be transported in checked luggage.”

TSA reminds passengers to be aware of the contents of their carry-on bag prior to coming to the security checkpoint. TSA has multiple resources available to passengers to help them determine whether an item is permitted in carry-on baggage, checked baggage or not at all.

Travelers can use the “Can I Bring?” feature on the TSA mobile app, myTSA, or visit  https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all. Travelers can also Tweet or Message “AskTSA” if they have a travel question or are unsure if an item is allowed through security in a carry-on bag. Just snap a picture or send a question and get real-time assistance.

Additional traveler information specifically related to the commercial air transport of firearms and ammunition can be found at http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition. More information on TSA’s civil penalties for prohibited items can be found at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/civil-enforcement.

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