Loaded gun found in man’s luggage at Logan Airport

A Transportation Security Administration officer prevented a man from boarding a plane with a loaded 9mm handgun Tuesday at Logan International Airport, officials said.

The officer stopped the man when the loaded gun was spotted as his belongings entered the checkpoint X-ray machine, according to the TSA.

The man, an Alabama resident flying out of Boston, told the officer he didn’t know he had the gun with him and speculated that one of his co-workers placed it in his carry-on bag before he headed to the airport for his flight.

TSA officials contacted the Massachusetts State Police, who confiscated the handgun and detained the man for questioning before citing him on a state weapons charge. He was allowed to fly, officials said.

Fourteen guns were caught at Logan International Airport checkpoints in 2017, 21 in 2018, 18 in 2019 and four so far this year, according to the TSA.

Nationwide last year, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints, averaging about 12.1 firearms per day, approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from 4,239 detected in 2018, the TSA said. Eighty-seven percent of firearms found at checkpoints last year were loaded.

Even travelers with concealed firearm permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes in their carry-on bags, according to the TSA. Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked and packed separately from ammunition.

The TSA can assess civil penalties of up to $13,333 for weapons violations. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100.

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