Niagara Gazette

July 18, 2013

Florida man stopped trying to bring gun on plane at Buffalo airport

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — A Florida man who attempted to bring a handgun onto an airplane at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport was detained by transportation security officials on Thursday. 

In a release issued by the Transportation Security Administration, officials said officers at the airport stopped the man after they spotted a handgun in his carry-on bag at an X-ray machine checkpoint. 

TSA contacted the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority police who responded, confiscated the loaded handgun, and arrested the man on a state weapons charge, according to the release. He was originally ticketed to fly to Tampa.

The incident marks the third time TSA officers at the airport have stopped someone trying to bring a firearm onto a plane this year. 

“TSA screens approximately 9,000 passengers and their carry-on bags each day, and our TSA officers remain focused on threats to the flying public,” said Derek “Rick” DePietro, TSA’s Federal Security Director at the airport.

As a reminder, TSA officials noted that weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline. Passengers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA. 

The TSA screens approximately 1.8 million passengers and their luggage every day for prohibited items, including weapons and explosives. To do this, TSA uses imaging technology to safely screen passengers for any items which may be concealed under clothing, while X-ray units screen all carry-on baggage.

Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint, and TSA’s advice to passengers is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items. 

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.

Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.

For more details on how to properly travel with a firearm, visit the TSA's website at www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition.