TSA Stops Collegeville Man With Loaded Gun in Airport

TSA officers at Philadelphia International Airport said they prevented a Collegeville man from carrying this loaded gun (at top) through a security checkpoint Saturday

PHILADELPHIA PA – A Collegeville man who was not identified by name or street address was caught Saturday (Nov. 12, 2022) with a loaded gun by federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Philadelphia International Airport, the TSA said Monday (Nov. 14, 2022).

The .380-caliber handgun was loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber, it added. When the TSA officer spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, according to the agency’s report, Tinicum Township, Bucks County, police were alerted and responded to confiscate the weapon.

TSA forwarded the incident to be followed up; a federal financial civil penalty may be issued as a result. The agency “reserves the right to issue a stiff civil penalty to individuals who bring weapons with them to a checkpoint. Civil penalties for bringing a handgun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating or aggravating circumstances,” according to its statement.

“Our TSA officers are good at detecting firearms and other prohibited items that travelers bring to our security checkpoints,” TSA Federal Security Director Gerardo Spero at the airport noted. “Saturday’s gun marked the 39th our officers have caught this year,” he said, “which ties the record for the most guns caught at our airport checkpoints during a calendar year.”

“Responsible gun owners know where their firearms are at all times and they know that they are not allowed to carry them onto their flight,” Spero warned. “Bringing a gun to an airport introduces an unnecessary risk that an accident could happen. If you own a firearm, under no circumstances should you ever bring it to a checkpoint.”

Weapons must be properly packed and declared at the airline check-in counter, he explained. Checked firearms must be unloaded, placed in a hard-sided case, locked and packed separately from ammunition. TSA offers details on how to properly travel with a firearm on its website. Because firearm possession laws vary by state and locality, travelers should check into firearm laws before they decide to travel with their guns, the statement said.

Photo provided by the federal Transportation Security Administration