2 stopped at RDU with loaded guns in carry-on bags

Posted December 8, 2016

The Transportation Security Administration at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Tuesday provided travelers with tips and advice as to what is allowed in a carry-on bag after the number of loaded guns rose 68 percent compared to last year.

— 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.


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  • Craig Elliott Dec 9, 11:55 a.m.
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    Not at all- they are simple machines to operate as long as you follow proper procedures. If you're at all interested in firearms visit one of our local ranges and they'll introduce you to the basics. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the experience even if you don't wish to go forward with it. I personally recommend Personal Defense & Handgun Safety Center on Tryon Rd. and Triangle Shooting Academy near Brier Creek.

  • Anna Temple Dec 8, 10:12 p.m.
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    Are guns difficult to understand? I think I want one but so many people seem to have careless accidents. I am afraid I may forget there are bullets in it

  • Craig Elliott Dec 8, 10:03 p.m.
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    As a responsible gun owner, the idea someone losing track of their firearm is gives me the creeps.

    For all the news about TSA confiscations I'd like to know how many terrorist attacks they have prevented. Maybe that's "need to know" information, but most (hopefully, all) of the confiscations have been from passengers that either exercised extremely poor judgement, forgot something they shouldn't have or should have simply known better.

    That said, discharging a firearm -negligently or otherwise- on an aircraft qualifies as a REALLY BAD THING.

  • Davis Bennett Dec 8, 6:08 p.m.
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    It's a pretty routine thing at TSA- hence why it happened two days in a row. Just because someone carries a firearm does not make them a villain. And just because someone has rounds in the magazine does not mean the weapon is considered loaded. I think of it as loaded when a bullet is chambered.

  • Davis Bennett Dec 8, 5:28 p.m.
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    WRAL...let's not be dramatic. Your title is begging for clicks. These were two separate instances where both individuals had concealed carry permits and while they should not have carried their weapons at the airport, they were permitted to board their flights minutes later. In states like GA and TX, passengers are allowed to return the firearms to their vehicles of stopped at security. Please stop instilling fear and acting like some tragedy was prevented.

  • Bobby Lee Jimmy Billy Dec 8, 4:19 p.m.
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    You got that right Raleigh!

  • Raleigh Rose Dec 8, 4:14 p.m.
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    I completely agreed with you till the last sentence. Lay off the conspiracy theories. This is how fake news stories can start-saying something that you have zero facts to back up your assumption. Besides, if a shooter going into an elementary school and shooting children isn't enough to change the gun laws in this country, a couple of loaded weapons at the airport certainly aren't.

  • Norman Lewis Dec 8, 3:14 p.m.
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    How incredibly moronic it is to even put firearms in your carry-on baggage when going to the airport much less loaded firearms. Whoever the people were, the guns should be confiscated, they should spend some time in jail and they should have to wear "I'm have no common sense" signs around their necks next time in the airport. A firearm in NOT something you just "forget" when in your possession. This may even be a staged event to make legitimate gun owners look ignorant which I would not put past some Liberals.

  • Raleigh Rose Dec 8, 1:42 p.m.
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    Part of being a responsible gun owner is know and following applicable laws. As a gun owner, I believe incidents like these are why to own a gun, you need to have taken classes on the laws and how to be a responsible gun owner. Too many gun owners don't take the time or have the inclination to learn the laws, follow them and understand them. It puts all our rights as gun owners in jeopardy.