A passenger going through the security checkpoint Friday morning was detained briefly after a handgun and ammunition was found in a carry-on bag.
The 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun, along with 19 rounds of loose ammunition, was discovered in the bag during x-ray screening by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) staff according to a statement released by the TSA.
According to Carrie Harmon, TSA Regional Spokesperson, when a firearm is found, local authorities are contacted. In this case, a La Crosse Police officer responded to the airport, took possession of the weapon, and interviewed the passenger, whose identity was not released.
The officer eventually issued the passenger a citation. The passenger was able to book a later flight according to the TSA.
The statement said this is the second firearm found by the TSA at the La Crosse Regional Airport security checkpoint this year.
“Passengers cannot bring a firearm to an airport security checkpoint,” said TSA Wisconsin Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay. “Passengers can travel with a firearm in a checked bag, but only if it is declared to the airline at the ticket counter and properly packed in a locked, hard-sided container.” Firearm parts, ammunition, and realistic replicas also are not allowed through security checkpoints, but can travel in checked bags.
The TSA can fine people up to $13,000 for bringing a firearm to a checkpoint. Local law enforcement determines whether any criminal charges are warranted.