It didn't take long for Transportation Security Administration officers at the Boise Airport to find a firearm in carry-on baggage during the new year.
At 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, a man headed for Salt Lake City tried to bring a Smith and Wesson .380 semiautomatic pistol into the boarding area, according to a TSA news release. The passenger was stopped about at the security checkpoint when a TSA officer who was conducting routine screening of travelers’ carry-on property saw the image of a handgun on the x-ray screen. TSA notified Boise police, and an officer removed the firearm from the security checkpoint.
The gun wasn't loaded, and the passenger was not cited, TSA reports. The news release did not identify the man.
“Situations where passengers bring firearms to the TSA security checkpoints are becoming far too common across the nation,” said Andy Coose, TSA federal security director for Idaho. "TSA urges the public to use extreme care when preparing to fly and to make sure they know what is in each bag."
“Firearms present a hazard onboard aircraft , and it is much greater in the air than on the ground," Coose said. "Passengers should be aware and pack accordingly. Failure to do so will result in a serious fine or civil penalty.”
The .380 was the first firearm discovered by TSA at the airport so far this year. Screeners found 18 firearms in passengers’ carry-ons in 2016, up from 14 in 2015.
Firearms, ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas of firearms are always prohibited in carry-on baggage, according to the news release. They can be transported in checked baggage, but the traveler must declare them to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process. Firearms in checked baggage must be unloaded and stored in a locked, hard-sided container.