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Ontario County Man Caught With Handgun at ROC Airport


For the second time in three months, an Ontario County man was stopped by security officers at Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport on Thursday when they detected a handgun in the man’s carry-on bag at the TSA security checkpoint. The .380 caliber gun was loaded with six bullets.

The gun was caught as the man entered the security checkpoint. An alert security officer was operating the X-ray unit at the checkpoint when they detected what appeared to be a firearm. A Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy was notified and responded. Upon arrival, they opened the bag for a closer inspection, and a loaded firearm was discovered. The traveler had a valid New York State pistol permit and the weapon was confiscated by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.

Guns are not permitted through the security checkpoint and now the man faces a stiff financial civil penalty from TSA. The penalty for carrying weapons can reach a maximum of $15,000.

Back in early August, a Canandaigua man was stopped after too was detected to have a 380 loaded with six bullets in his carry-on bag.

“I would like to acknowledge my appreciation to the officers who detected the firearm at the checkpoint and also recognize the quick response of law enforcement,” said Bart R. Johnson, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Upstate New York. “As a result, a deadly weapon was prevented from getting onto an airplane.

“I would also like to express my disappointment in a licensed and trained New York State pistol permit holder who did not have the self-awareness of where his handgun was. Instead, he entered an active security checkpoint with a loaded handgun and created a potentially dangerous situation through his own actions,” Johnson added.

Passengers are only permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage. Firearms must be unloaded and then packed in a hard-sided locked case. The locked case should be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and gun owners have a duty to ensure they are not violating any local firearm laws. Additionally, contacting the respective airline could reveal any additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Bringing a gun to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil penalty because TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. Civil penalties for bringing a gun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because a concealed carry permit does not allow a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. Additionally, if a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.


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