A Westchester County man was arrested by Port Authority cops at John F. Kennedy International Airport Monday after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers found him with a loaded .22-caliber handgun.
TSA officials alerted the Port Authority Police Department to the JFK checkpoint before the gun, which was loaded with four bullets, was confiscated and the man was arrested on weapons charges, according to a TSA release. The man also faces federal financial civil penalties for bringing a gun to a security checkpoint, authorities said.
Traveling with a firearm is permitted in checked baggage if the weapon is properly packaged and declared at the airline ticket counter. “Guns are absolutely not permitted to be carried onto planes,” the TSA said.
Through Monday, nine guns have been confiscated at JFK airport checkpoints this year, TSA data shows, a stark rise from the total of two firearms confiscated last year when far fewer passengers were traveling due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Eight firearms were confiscated at the checkpoint in 2019, while two were found in 2018 and six were seized in 2017, data shows.
Checked firearms have to be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked and packed separately from ammunition, according to the TSA. More details are available on the agency’s website.
The agency noted checkpoint lines come to a standstill when firearms are found until police resolve the issue, causing significant delays for travelers trying to get to their gates.
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