Mar. 20—Transportation Security Administration officers stopped two Pennsylvania residents — one of them an employee — from bringing guns through the security checkpoint at Pittsburgh International Airport over the weekend.
On Saturday, the airport employee, whom the TSA did not name, was caught with a 9 mm handgun loaded with 10 bullets, including one in the chamber, TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said. The woman, who lives in Pittsburgh, had her airport employee identification confiscated.
The previous day, TSA officers stopped a man from Munhall from carrying a loaded 9 mm handgun onto his flight. Allegheny County police arrested him on a weapons charge. He also was not named.
The weekend incidents were the second and third times in 2023 that individuals have been caught with firearms at the airport's security checkpoint, Farbstein said. TSA officers caught 26 guns at the checkpoint in 2022, down from 32 in 2021.
"Guns are not permitted through any airport security checkpoint," said Karen Keys-Turner, TSA's federal security director for the airport. "It does not matter if you are coming through a checkpoint to catch a flight or to get to your job working in the airport, under no circumstances should someone be bringing a firearm to our security checkpoints."
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms only in checked baggage, if they are unloaded and packed in a hard-sided, locked case. The locked case should be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.
In addition to the citation by airport police, individuals who bring firearms to TSA checkpoints also face a stiff financial civil penalty. Penalties for carrying a weapons recently were increased to a maximum of $15,000.
Justin Vellucci is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Justin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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