IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - An Idaho Falls Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer discovered a loaded firearm in the carry-on baggage of a man traveling from Idaho Falls Regional Airport to Salt Lake City Tuesday.
The 9 mm Walter PPS M2 handgun was loaded with 7 rounds of ammunition, including one in the chamber.
The TSA officer found the firearm during a routine screening of carry-on bags at around 11:45 a.m. The officer saw the image of the firearm on the x-ray screen and notified the Idaho Falls Police Department.
In addition to facing local or state criminal charges, TSA reserves the right to levy a civil penalty of up to $9,800 for bring a dangerous weapon like a firearm to the checkpoint. Each penalty is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
It is the first firearm discovery of 2018 at Idaho Falls Regional Airport. Over the past two years, TSA discovered two firearms per year at the security checkpoint. Nationwide, last year, the agency found 3,957 firearms in passengers' carry-on bags, up from 3,391 in 2016.
"Travelers take note," said Andy Coose, Federal Security Director for Idaho. "Transporting firearms in carry-on luggage is never allowed. The rules for traveling with a firearm on a commercial aircraft are not new. If you are traveling with a gun, please take the necessary steps prior to coming to the airport to ensure that the gun is properly packed for transport in checked baggage."
Firearms in checked baggage must be unloaded and stored in a locked, had-sided container. TSA urges passengers to contact their airline for specific firearm and ammunition policies and check local laws related to the carrying and transport of firearms.
You can find additional traveler information here.