2 stopped at RDU with loaded guns in carry-on bags
Posted December 8, 2016
Morrisville, N.C. — Over the course of 24 hours, Transportation Security Administration officers stopped two travelers from bringing loaded handguns onto planes at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
In both incidents – Wednesday evening and Thursday morning – the travelers were stopped at security when X-ray machines detected the guns in their carry-on bags.
Both were cited and, because they were stopped at a TSA Precheck checkpoint, will lose their precheck privileges, which include accelerated airport security lines, for two years.
The TSA issued a warning for holiday travelers earlier this week, citing some of the more outrageous contraband confiscated from travelers. Firearms can be taken on a plane if they are packed unloaded and locked in a hard-sided case in checked baggage and declared upon check-in.
The penalty for carrying banned items can be as much as $11,000. Both travelers at RDU were cited by airport police, although the TSA did not release their names or say how much their fines would be.
Thus far in 2016, 49 firearms have been caught at RDU, up from 30 in all of 2015.
The TSA warns travelers not only of the fines they could face if caught with something not allowed to fly, but also of the delays and dangers to others.
TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz said, "People often take their bag, fling it onto the belt in the checkpoint. (If) the gun is loaded, it’s loose, they could be shot, another passenger could be shot."
When TSA officers detect a firearm, they shut down the entire security lane, delaying everyone else in line while law enforcement investigates.