Loaded gun found at Boise Airport checkpoint

June 18, 2013 

A passenger was stopped by the TSA after she attempted to bring this loaded handgun through a checkpoint at the Boise Airport Friday.

— The Transportation Security Administration discovered the handgun inside a passenger’s bag as she was going through the security checkpoint Friday.

Boise police confiscated the handgun belonging to Mia K. Gussie, 31, of Meridian, according to a press release. Officers determined that Gussie does have a valid concealed weapons permit, but she was charged with violating a state law forbidding concealed weapons in certain parts of airports.

Gussie had the .380 caliber Ruger pistol in her carry-on bag, according to a TSA press release. The gun was loaded with six rounds.

Gussie had a ticket to fly to San Francisco, but as she passed through the security checkpoint to board the flight, a TSA officer noticed the gun in the X-ray.

Lorie Dankers, a TSA spokeswoman, said guns in airports are not uncommon. Nationally, 26 guns were found in carry-on bags from Friday through Sunday.

“We are seeing it with increased frequency,” she said.

This is the fourth gun found at a Boise Airport security checkpoint this year.

Passengers usually bring guns to the airport on accident, Dankers said. In many cases, travelers had been using their bag for a different purpose and forgot the gun was still inside, she said. No details were immediately available Tuesday on whether that was the case with the Boise incident.

Dankers cautioned passengers to be more careful.

“The number one rule of firearm safety is to know where your firearm is at all times,” she said. “Know what’s in your bag, and make sure everything in your bag is allowed.”

Someone who brings a weapon into an airport may be subject to citation or even arrest, she said. In addition, the passenger can face a fine of up to $7,500 from the TSA.

The TSA is still investigating the incident, and will decide whether it will fine the woman, Dankers said.

It is possible for gun owners to fly with their firearm if they follow proper procedures.

The gun must be unloaded and in a hard-sided locked case in a check bag, according to the TSA’s website. In addition, travelers must announce the gun to airline officials at the ticket counter.

A gun is never allowed to be taken in a carry-on bag onto the plane, whether or not it is loaded, Dankers said.

Check back with the Statesman for updates.

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