BOISE, Idaho — Officers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) detected an unloaded 9mm handgun in a traveler's carry-on luggage Thursday morning.
The firearm was found during the routine x-ray screen of carry-on luggage at the security checkpoint. Upon discovery, TSA notified Boise Police. Police then questioned the traveler and eventually they continued to their flight without the firearm, according to a news release from the airport.
The 9mm was the 21st firearm found by TSA officials in carry-on luggage at the Boise Airport this year. TSA officals say at this time last year, officers had detected 12 guns in carry-on luggage, marking a 75% increase over the same point last year.
Nationwide, TSA officers have found more than 2,900 firearms in carry-on luggage at airports nationwide.
“Today’s firearm discovery in a traveler’s carry-on luggage at the Boise Airport is disappointing. We continue to message to owners of firearms that guns are not allowed to travel through the security checkpoint. Unfortunately, these advisements have been ignored,” TSA Federal Security Director for Idaho Andy Coose said in a statement.
When firearms are found, TSA reviews the circumstances of the incident, and may levy a civil penalty against the passenger. The recommended civil penalty starts a $2,050 and can go up to more than $10,000 per violation. TSA evaluates each incident on a case-by-case basis.
In addition to civil penalties, individuals who violate rules regarding traveling with firearms will have TSA PreCheck and Trusted Traveler benefits revoked for a period of time. The duration depnds on the seriousness of the offense, and if there is a history of violations.
Firearms can be transported on a commercial aircraft, but only if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and placed in checked baggage. Ammunition and firearm parts must also be checked. During the check-in process, the traveler must go to the ticket counter to declare the firearm and any additional ammunition and parts.
Travelers are encouraged to check gun laws and regulations at their intended destination to ensure they comply with state laws.
For more on how to travel with any type of item, click here.
This article has been corrected with updated information provided by the Transportation Security Administration.