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TSA: 3 handguns intercepted in 1 week at Detroit Metro Airport

More than 30 guns intercepted this year at DTW

This handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) on July 14.
This handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) on July 14. (TSA)

ROMULUS, Mich. – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said officers prevented three handguns from going onboard airplanes at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) this past week.

They found a handgun in carry-on luggage, a loaded gun on a man who said he forgot it in his pocket, and a third gun spotted on the X-ray screen.

From the TSA:

  • In the first incident, on Wednesday, July 14, a TSA officer spotted the image of a handgun on the X-ray screen during the routine screening of carry-on luggage. The incident occurred around 5:00 a.m., and TSA officials immediately alerted the Wayne County Airport Police. The firearm was loaded with a chambered round. The traveler, a Detroit resident, had a concealed-carry permit. This handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at DTW on July 14.
  • Two more guns were caught on Friday, July 16. Around 10 a.m., a gun was detected during screening. The firearm was loaded with a chambered round, and the passenger, a Royal Oak resident, said he had forgotten to take his gun out of his pocket and store it in his car. That same day, around 8:45 p.m, the third gun was found on the X-ray screen. Both passengers on Friday were arrested by Wayne County Airport Police.

“We want to remind everyone planning to fly out of Detroit to carefully inspect your bag before you pack it and head to the airport,” said Detroit’s TSA Federal Security Director Steve Lorincz. “This simple act could save you lots of time and money, along with avoiding possible arrest with local law enforcement.”

TSA may impose civil penalties of up to $13,910 per violation per person. A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100. The complete list of civil penalties is on the TSA website. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges for a period of time.

The handgun on the left was detected by TSA officers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) in the morning of July 16, and the handgun on the right was caught in the evening that same day. (TSA)

TSA said these are the 34th, 35th, and 36th firearms detected at DTW this year. A total of 47 firearms were detected at DTW security checkpoints in 2019, and 44 last year.

“Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed separately from ammunition in a locked hardback case and declared at the airline check-in counter. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should check for firearm laws in the jurisdictions they are flying to and from.” -- TSA

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

June 9, 2021: TSA officers find loaded handgun in carry-on bag at Detroit Metro Airport


About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.