News 4 Buffalo

Loaded handgun found by TSA at Buffalo airport

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — On Thursday, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) found a loaded handgun in a carry-on bag at the Buffalo airport.

This was the second gun found by TSA officers at the security checkpoint so far in 2022. According to them, the .380 caliber gun was found in the possession of a Silver Creek man.

“Carrying a gun to an airport security checkpoint is illegal and has serious consequences to our operation and to the traveling public,” TSA Federal Security Director Bart Johnson said. “As a result of this incident, this individual faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty. When you add up what he is likely to spend in attorney fees and the various financial penalties, this mistake will likely run him into the thousands of dollars. My advice is to know what you are bringing to a TSA checkpoint to ensure you have no prohibited or illegal items with you.”

NFTA Police immediately responded to the checkpoint, where the TSA said the man surrendered the weapon to be destroyed.

The only legal way to travel via airplane with a gun is by properly packaging it and declaring it as part of checked baggage at the airline ticket counter.

Across the country last year, TSA officers found nearly 6,000 guns on passengers or in their carry-on bags at security checkpoints. So far in 2022, roughly 86 percent of the guns found by the TSA nationwide have been loaded.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.