Two loaded 9 mm handguns were found during routine screening of carry-on baggage Sunday morning, according to a Monday news release from the Transportation Security Administration.
The guns were in separate bags for separate flights. One of their owners was headed to the Portland airport, the other to Salt Lake City. The Portland-bound gun contained eight rounds of ammunition, while the SLC-bound gun had seven.
They make 14 guns found at the Boise Airport so far this year — on pace to eclipse the 18 guns found at BOI throughout 2016. And 2016’s total was a record, prompting TSA officials to remind the public of the prohibition against carrying weapons onto plane unless they are declared and securely packaged as checked baggage.
By and large, people carry guns through the airport’s security not to cause trouble, but because they forget they have them.
“There is a definite trend and it is not a good one. Too many people are bringing loaded firearms into airports and showing up at TSA checkpoints nationwide,” said Andy Coose, TSA federal security director for Idaho. “Gun owners need to be responsible when they fly and ensure that they do the right thing by either leaving their weapon at home, or packing it in their checked luggage and properly declaring it to the airlines. Otherwise, they may find themselves missing their flight while dealing with police and other security officials.”
Firearms, ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas of firearms are always prohibited in carry-on baggage. They may be transported in checked baggage if the traveler declares them to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process, according to TSA regulations. Clips and ammunition can be in the same case but must be removed from the gun.
People caught with weapons in their carry-ons face possible criminal charges or civil penalties that could range as high as a $7,500 fine. Most miss their flights.