Newark Liberty International Airport is on track to set a record this year.
On Thanksgiving, Transportation Security Administration officers found a loaded 9 mm handgun in a passenger’s carry-on bag in Terminal C. It was the 14th gun found this year at the airport’s security checkpoints — tying for the record for the most guns caught at the airport in a single year, with more than a month left in 2022.
“Getting caught with and arrested for carrying a loaded gun at our airport means this individual had a pretty bad Thanksgiving,” Thomas Carter, TSA federal security director for New Jersey, said in a statement from the agency. “Not only was this man arrested, but he also now faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty that could run into thousands of dollars.”
The gun’s owner is a resident of Newtown Square in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, according to the TSA. The weapon was loaded with 12 bullets plus one in the chamber, it said.
He was the third person arrested at Newark Airport this month for allegedly attempting to bring a gun through airport security.
Firearms are not permitted through airport security checkpoints. The federal offense carries a civil penalty that can be thousands of dollars, depending on the circumstances. Even with a concealed carry permit, it is prohibited to bring the weapon aboard an airplane.
The legal way to fly with a gun is unloaded and locked in a secure hard case as checked baggage only, including the bullets. Firearms and ammunition must be declared to the airline upon check-in.
Last year, TSA reported, its officers found nearly 6,000 guns at airport security checkpoints nationwide, and nearly 90% were loaded. Twelve guns were found at Newark in 2021, according to the TSA.
Newark last saw 14 guns in a year in 2018, the agency said.