Photo Courtesy of TSA
Transportation Security Administration officers Tuesday detected this handgun in a West Virginia man’s carry-on bag at JFK Airport.
By Forum Staff
A West Virginia man set to board a flight to London was arrested Tuesday morning at John F. Kennedy International Airport after Transportation Security Administration officers detected a firearm in his carry-on bag at one of the hub’s checkpoints. The .38-caliber handgun was loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber, according to TSA officials.
The TSA officers immediately contacted Port Authority Police after spotting the weapon as the passenger’s bag rolled through the checkpoint X-ray machine. PAPD officers confiscated the firearm and detained the Bluefield resident for questioning before arresting him on weapons charges.
Authorities noted that Tuesday’s incident marked the fourth gun that TSA officers have detected at JFK so far this year—already doubling the two firearms that were discovered in carry-on bags at the airport all of last year.
According to the TSA, in 2018, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 11.6 firearms per day, approximately a 7-percent increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 3,957 detected in 2017. Eighty-six percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded, and nearly 34 percent had a bullet in the chamber.
According to the agency, passengers are permitted to travel domestically with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. However, travelers flying to international destinations should check on the laws of the countries that they are flying to prior to taking the trip. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by country, state, and locality.