NJ man caught with loaded gun at Newark Airport

(Credit: TSA)

A New Jersey man was caught with a loaded gun inside his book bag at Newark Liberty International airport last week, authorities said.

On June 20, a TSA officer discovered a .45 caliber handgun in the bag of an Irvington resident as it passed through an x-ray machine at a Terminal A security checkpoint.

Port Authority police escorted the man and his handgun out of the airport. 

He was not arrested because he had a New Jersey permit to carry the weapon, but authorities noted that he did miss his flight.

"When individuals bring their firearms to our checkpoints, it represents a risk to everyone in the area and slows down the checkpoint screening process for everyone," Thomas Carter, TSA’s Federal Security Director for New Jersey said.

Authorities say the man now faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty for bringing a gun to a security checkpoint. 

The penalty for bringing a weapon to a TSA checkpoint can cost as much as $15,000, depending on the circumstances.

Can guns be transported on a flight?

According to TSA, guns can be transported on a flight if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and declared to the airline. The airline will be sure that the gun travels with checked baggage in the belly of the plane, never in the cabin of the plane. Additionally, replica firearms also are prohibited in carry-on baggage and also must be transported in checked luggage.