Syracuse Police were called to Hancock International Airport yesterday when a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent discovered a traveler had packed more than clothes and a toothbrush in her carry-on. TSA officers stopped the woman, a resident of Tompkins County, when the X-Ray machine spotted a handgun in her bag at a security checkpoint.
The woman told police that she forgot the nine millimeter semi-automatic handgun was in her bag. Syracuse police allowed the woman to place the gun in her checked baggage, where she had already properly checked one of her firearms.
Firearms, firearm parts and ammunition are not permitted in carry-on bags, but weapons can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed in a hard-side case, locked, packed separately from the ammunition and declared to the airline.
Passengers who bring weapons to security checkpoints are subject to possible civil penalties from the TSA. Travelers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to security checkpoints, and TSA advises passengers to look through bags before coming to the airport to make sure there are no prohibited items.
Last week alone, TSA reported stopping 50 firearms at checkpoints nationwide. To communicate security incidents to the public, TSA publishes an end-of-week review and Tuesday Travel Tips on its blog.