Police said they arrested a man on Thursday after TSA officers stopped him with a loaded gun in his carry-on bag at Newark Liberty International Airport.
TSA officers detected the 9mm handgun loaded with 13 bullets, including one in the chamber, in the traveler’s bag on Thanksgiving. The man, a Pennsylvania resident, is the third person this month to be arrested at the airport after TSA found guns in their bags, authorities said.
The firearm is the 14th gun to be detected by airport security this year, according to the TSA. This year so far is tied with 2018 for the most firearms discovered at Newark. Last year, TSA officers found 5,972 guns at airport checkpoints across the country. 86% of them were loaded, the agency said.
The man faces a “stiff federal financial civil penalty that could run into thousands of dollars” in addition to consequences of his arrest, according to Thomas Carter, TSA federal security director for New Jersey.
“Getting caught with and arrested for carrying a loaded gun at our airport means this individual had a pretty bad Thanksgiving,” Carter said. “Our TSA officers are on the job this busy holiday weekend so that others can reach their destinations safely and spend the holiday with their family and friends. Our team is staying vigilant and focused on the mission to help ensure that prohibited items are not carried onto a flight.”
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