A New Jersey woman has been arrested on weapons charges after TSA officers at a Newark Airport security checkpoint found a loaded handgun hidden behind the lining of her suitcase as Labor Day weekend travel kicked into high gear over the weekend, authorities say.
A TSA spokesperson said Tuesday that the woman, who is from Orange, was going through a checkpoint Saturday when the officer staffing the X-Ray monitor spotted the weapon in her carry-on bag. The bag was searched, and a .38 caliber revolver loaded with five bullets was discovered behind the lining of her bag, authorities say. Port Authority Police confiscated the handgun.
The woman claimed she didn’t know it was there, according to the TSA.
It was the 11th gun caught at Newark Liberty International Airport checkpoints so far this year. Last year, the TSA detected 5,972 guns at security checkpoints nationwide. Eighty-six percent of them were loaded.
“Travelers should not attempt to conceal weapons among their carry-on items when entering a TSA security checkpoint,” said Thomas Carter, TSA’s federal security director for New Jersey, said in a statement. “This is a fine example of how we use the technology available to us to help ensure that guns are stopped before someone tries to carry one onto their flight. In addition to her arrest, this woman also faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty.”
Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and passengers should check to make sure they’re not violating local laws. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.
Source: NBC New York
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