TSA agents at Tri-Cities Airport find loaded handgun in carry-on

PASCO, WA - Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at the Tri-Cities Airport found a loaded firearm in a traveler's carry-on Tuesday morning. 

This is the fifth firearm TSA has found so far this year. Nationally, TSA officers have discovered 2,201 firearms in carry-on luggage. Of those, 1,916 were loaded with at least one round of ammunition. 

The firearm in this incident was loaded with six rounds of ammunition. A TSA officer spotted the gun on the x-ray machine and took the necessary steps to confiscate it.

The Port of Pasco Police Department responded and cited the passenger on a state charge.

Passengers are allowed to travel with firearms if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and put inside checked baggage. 

Ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames, receivers, clips and magazines are also prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be checked in. 

TSA is reviewing the circumstances of Tuesday's incident to determine if the agency can levy a civil penalty against the passenger. 

Factors TSA considers when determining the civil penalty amount include whether the firearm was loaded and whether there was accessible ammunition. 

The recommended civil penalty for a firearm starts at $4,000 and can go up to the statutory maximum of $13,333 per violation. 

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