SYRACUSE, NY (WOWK) — A man from Elkins, West Virginia, was arrested after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped him with a loaded gun at Syracuse Hancock International Airport checkpoint Tuesday morning.

The man told officials he had driven to the area for work and forgot the gun was with him when he went to catch a flight.

The man was carrying a .380 caliber handgun loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber.

(TSA photo)

A TSA officer spotted the handgun when the man’s carry-on bag was screened through the X-ray machine at the security checkpoint. TSA alerted Syracuse Police, who responded and confiscated the weapon.

“This was a very good catch on the part of our officers at a time when we are seeing an increase in travel volume,” said Bart R. Johnson, TSA Federal Security Director for Upstate New York. “It was a careless and now costly mistake on the part of the traveler as he faces a Federal financial penalty.”

TSA Firearm Guidelines

Guns can be transported on a flight if they are:

  • Declared to the airline;
  • Unloaded;
  • Packed in a locked, hard-sided case; and
  • Transported in checked luggage.

Tips for flying with a firearm

  • Prior to a fight, check if the airline has specific requirements for transporting firearms.
  • Declare the firearm during check-in at the airline ticket counter.
  • Pack the firearm in checked luggage, which will be stored in the belly of the plane.
  • Double-check contents of baggage before reaching a security checkpoint.

TSA says flyers who fail to follow the above guidelines and tips can face civil penalties of thousands of dollars, depending on circumstances. A complete list of TSA’s civil penalties is posted online.

TSA has additional information specifically related to transportation of firearms and ammunition on its website. TSA also has multiple resources for passengers to determine if an item is permitted in carry-on baggage, checked luggage or neither.

Travelers can use the “Can I Bring?” feature on the TSA website or on the free, downloadable myTSA app. Travelers can also Tweet or Message “@AskTSA” if they are unsure if an item is allowed on their flight.