TSA finds loaded handgun at Dayton airport

A loaded handgun was recovered at the Dayton International Airport this morning when a passenger attempted to take it through security.

Around 5 a.m. a passenger going through the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint had a Taurus .357 Magnum in a carry-on bag. TSA immediately alerted airport police, who took the bag and escorted the passenger out of the checkpoint area, according to a release from TSA.

“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint,” said Mark Howell, TSA Regional Spokesperson. “Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.”

Firearms are not allowed to be taken on planes by passengers and must be in checked baggage. While in checked baggage, they must be unloaded, declared to the airline and in proper storage.

“Security is the first concern of the TSA, and having these items in bags that are traveling with you on the aircraft is dangerous to other travelers and can be easily mistaken as an intentional attempt to bring a prohibited item onto an aircraft,” the release said.

This is the eighth firearm found at the Dayton airport’s security checkpoints in 2019. Nine were found last year.

The identity of the person with the gun has not been released but Dayton International Airport Police Chief Mike Etter said there will be no criminal charges because the individual is a concealed carry permit holder that forgot the firearm was in the bag.

But the passenger will most likely receive a civil penalty from TSA, Howell said. The average fine for a first-time offender is between $3,000 and $4,000.


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