Epidemic gun seizures continue at NJ’s Newark Liberty Airport
For the 11th time this year, TSA agents have caught someone trying to bring a gun on a plane at Newark Liberty International Airport.
In this latest case, the TSA says a man from Hawaii was at the Terminal A security checkpoint, when an X-ray scanner detected the gun in his carry-on bag. It was an antique model handgun and it was not loaded.
The passenger, whose name was not released, told officers the gun belonged to his father and he forgot it was in the bag. Police did allow the man to leave the airport to secure the weapon in another location, but not before issuing him a summons.
It is legal to bring a gun on an airplane, but TSA regulations require it to be declared before boarding. The weapon just be secured in a locked case, and checked as luggage. Many airlines charge a fee for the privilege.
The TSA says they seized 14 guns from passengers who tried to bring them onto planes in both 2019 and 2020.
The number of seizures this year could be considered unusual due to the diminished demand for air travel due to the pandemic.
Earlier this year, the TSA reported officers detected twice as many firearms per million passengers screened in 2020 compared to 2019, and at a significantly higher rate than any other year since the agency's inception.
TSA Administrator Darby LaJoye called it an epidemic. Of the 3,257 firearms found, 83 percent were loaded.