First loaded gun of 2022 caught at Trenton-Mercer Airport security
TRENTON — A Florida man was arrested on Sunday after TSA officers topped him with a loaded gun in his carry-on bag at the Trenton-Mercer Airport security checkpoint.
The man was in possession of a loaded .380 caliber handgun, plus two loaded gun magazines and a pellet gun, all of which are not permitted through a TSA security checkpoint.
It was the first gun caught at the airport checkpoint this year, according to TSA officers.
One gun was found during a checkpoint in 2021 and a single gun was detected in 2020.
“Our officers are good at their jobs and are focused on their mission, especially during the busy holiday travel period,” said Thomas Carter, TSA’s Federal Security Director for New Jersey.
He added that the individual arrested faces a stiff financial civil penalty for carrying a weapon, which was recently increased to a maximum of $15,000.
Bringing a gun to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil penalty because TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint.
The complete list of civil penalties is posted online.
Additionally, if a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.
Nationwide, TSA officers detected almost 6,000 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints in 2021. Of the guns caught by TSA last year, about 86 percent were loaded.