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TSA catches two guns within seven days at Newark Liberty International Airport security checkpoints

Jul 23, 2023

NEWARK, N.J. – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Newark Liberty International Airport prevented two guns from being carried onto flights within a short seven-day timeframe.

A Fort Lee, N.J. man was caught with a loaded .380 caliber gun in his duffle bag on Aug. 25, seven days after a woman who works in one of the airport retail shops was stopped with her loaded 9mm gun at the checkpoint on her way to work on Aug. 18.

In each instance when the handguns were spotted in the checkpoint X-ray machine, Port Authority Police were alerted, came to the checkpoints, took possession of the firearms and interviewed the individuals. The woman, a resident of Newark, N.J., was arrested on a weapons charge and her airport ID was confiscated. Without the proper airport ID credentials, she can no longer work at the airport.

In addition to being arrested, the individual also 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.

“There is absolutely no excuse for bringing a firearm to one of our checkpoints,” said Thomas Carter, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the New Jersey. “Travelers are responsible for the items that they have in their possession. I strongly encourage gun owners to take a few moments before they come to the airport to refresh their familiarity with the proper procedures on how to pack a gun for a flight. Firearms should never be brought to the security checkpoint in carry-on luggage. Responsible gun owners know this.”

The gun catches marked the 13th and 14th firearms caught at the airport so far this year, which ties the record for the most guns caught at the airport in a single year.

Last year, 6,542 firearms were caught at 262 out of 430 airport security checkpoints nationwide. Eighty-eight percent of those guns were loaded.

TSA firearms catches at airport checkpoints at Newark Liberty International Airport, 2018 to 2023








(As of 8/27/23)

Guns caught at Newark Liberty International Airport checkpoints







TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. This applies to individuals with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

TSA reminds people to always know the contents of their carry-on bag prior to coming to the security checkpoint. TSA has multiple resources available to help determine whether an item is permitted in carry-on baggage, checked baggage, either or neither. Travelers can use the “Can I Bring?” feature on the TSA website or on the free downloadable myTSA app. Travelers can also tweet to @AskTSA or send a text message (275-872) if they have a travel question or are unsure if an item is allowed through security in a carry-on bag. Just snap a picture or send a question and get real-time assistance.

TSA firearms catches at airport checkpoints at Newark Liberty International Airport, 2018 to 2023Year201820192020202120222023(As of 8/27/23)