Archive

ShareThis Page
TSA: ‘Never bring a gun to a checkpoint’; tips on packing firearms for airport travel | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

TSA: ‘Never bring a gun to a checkpoint’; tips on packing firearms for airport travel

by MEGAN GUZA
| Tuesday, September 25, 2018 5:03 p.m.

Transportation Security Administration officials don’t care if you travel with your firearm – as long as you pack it and check it properly.

“Never bring a gun to a checkpoint. It’s pretty much that simple,” said Lisa Farbstein, spokeswoman for the TSA.

Security officials at Pittsburgh International Airport have discovered 28 guns in carry-on luggage so far this year. They found 37 last year. Officials at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Westmoreland County confiscated two weapons in each of the last two years, records show.

Across the country, TSA agents found 3,957 firearms in carry-on luggage, and 84 percent of them were loaded. Five years ago, security officials found just 1,813 guns in carry-on bags, according to TSA data.

“We’re seeing a trend where people are continuing to bring their firearms to checkpoints, and we want to see that trend go in the opposite direction,” Farbstein said.

She said the most common excuses are that the passengers forgot the gun was in the bag or that a family member packed a bag for them. It’s a mistake that can end in fines or arrest. It’s also a tremendous inconvenience to everyone in line behind you.

“We’re going to spot it in the X-ray machine, and now that lane comes to a complete stop,” Farbstein said. “All the passengers behind that individual get shifted to another lane, so it’s really going to delay them.”

After it a gun is discovered, police arrive and go through the carry-on bag and either issue a citation or arrest the person. The TSA can also issue a civil citation of $3,900 for a first-time offense.

“So like I said, it can be a very expensive mistake to make,” Farbstein said.

Passengers should travel with the gun unloaded and packed in a hard-side case that can lock, she said. Ammunition must be in its original box and can be packed inside the case next to the firearm. At the airport, passengers should hand the packed gun over at the baggage counter and fill out a short piece of paperwork. The gun will be packed in the belly of the plane.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, mguza@tribweb.com or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.


266352TSAgun03
Lisa Farbstein, spokeswoman for the TSA, shows the proper way to pack a firearm for transport on a plane.
266352tsagun02
The proper way to travel with a firearm is to make sure it is unloaded, placed in a hard-sided case and locked. The locked case should be brought to the airline check-in counter and declared. The airline representative will ensure it is placed in the belly of the aircraft, not in the cabin where someone would have access to it during a flight.
266352tsagun01
X-ray image of a firearm in a backpack. (TSA photo)
266352TSAgun04
Lisa Farbstein, spokeswoman for the TSA, shows the proper way to pack a firearm for transport on an airplane Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, at Pittsburgh International Airport.
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.