HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Transportation Security Administration officer at Harrisburg International Airport prevented a Dauphin County man from bringing a loaded handgun onto his flight on Saturday, Jan. 22.

The TSA says the Hummelstown man, whose name was not released by the agency, was in possession of a .22 caliber revolver loaded with six bullets.  

When the TSA officer spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, the police were alerted, confiscated the weapon and cited the man on weapons violations.

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“It is always disappointing when we see travelers who are carrying loaded weapons to our security checkpoints,” said Karen Keys-Turner, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Travelers should know better. Guns have been prohibited from being carried onto planes for decades before TSA even existed. So it should be no surprise when someone is stopped at our checkpoint, has their weapon confiscated by police, is charged by the police and then heavily fined by TSA.”

TSA forwarded the incident to be followed up with the issuance of a federal financial civil penalty.

Individuals face a civil penalty of up to $13,900 for bringing weapons with them to an airport checkpoint.

Travelers are allowed to transport their firearms as checked baggage if they are properly packed and declared at their airline ticket counter to be transported in the belly of the plane with checked baggage. Checked firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition.

Nationwide, TSA officers detected 5,972 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year. Of the guns caught by TSA in 2022, about 86 percent were loaded.