A man from Ocean County, New Jersey was arrested at Newark Airport on Saturday night, when TSA officers found an unregistered, loaded handgun in his carry-on bag.
A TSA spokeswoman said that the man, identified by the Port Authority as one Chad Wiegand of Lanoka, attempted to pass through a standard security checkpoint just before 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night. A TSA officer seated at the X-ray machine discovered a .25 caliber handgun zippered case inside his backpack. It was loaded with six rounds.
Port Authority Police proceeded to arrest Wiegand, barring him from his scheduled flight to Hong Kong. He was subsequently charged with unlawful possession of a handgun and unlawful possession of hollow point bullets. Wiegand is currently being held on $35,000 bail.
A 40-year-old chiropractor from Woodstock was arrested in a similar fashion at Newark in June, with a .32-caliber pistol.
Last November, a 94-year-old man attempted to pass through security at LaGuardia airport with a .38 caliber handgun clipped to his belt. And in February 2013 Da’Quan Bowers, then a defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, headed into his TSA check with a .40-caliber firearm in his carry-on.
In addition to criminal charges, TSA civil penalties for attempting to tote a firearm through security cap out at $11,000.