SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Syracuse Transportation Security Administration (TSA) stopped a Texas man at the security checkpoint on Saturday, April 8, who had a loaded gun in his carry-on luggage.

The .40 caliber handgun was loaded with 11 bullets, including one in the chamber. This is the second gun caught so far this year at the Syracuse-Hancock International Airport.

The TSA officer spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine and immediately alerted airport police who came to the checkpoint and confiscated the weapon from the traveler.

Syracuse TSA says the man told officials that he drove to New York state from his home in Texas and forgot that he had his loaded gun with him when he arrived at the airport for his flight.

Syracuse TSA stops man from carrying loaded gun on plane
Photo provided by Syracuse TSA

“This was a good catch on the part of our TSA officers and they should be commended for their vigilance in ensuring that nobody passes the checkpoint with a prohibited or illegal item,” said Bart R. Johnson TSA’s Federal Security Director for 13 airports in Upstate New York.  “This marks the second time so far this year that the team has prevented a loaded gun from being carried onto a flight. When dangerous items are presented in the screening checkpoint, we have serious safety and security concerns for all in the area, and the resolution disrupts the process for the passengers waiting behind the offender. Now this individual faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty.”

According to TSA, civil penalties for weapons can reach as high as $15,000, depending on the circumstances.

On TSA’s website, there are details on how to properly travel with a firearm which includes packing a gun properly in checked luggage. That way a person who wants to carry a gun can declare their checked bag at their airline check-in counter to be transported in the belly of the plane where nobody has access to firearms during a flight.

Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Last year, 6,542 firearms were caught at 262 out of 430 airport security checkpoints nationwide. Eighty-eight percent of those guns were loaded. TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint.

This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online.

TSA reminds passengers to always know the contents of their carry-on bag prior to coming to the security checkpoint. Travelers can use the multiple resources available from TSA to help them determine whether an item is permitted in which baggage with the “Can I Bring?” feature on the TSA website or on the free downloadable myTSA app.

Travelers can also tweet to @AskTSA or send a text message (275-872) 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.