A man was caught with a loaded handgun at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport security checkpoint Wednesday, an official with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said.
Daniel Velez, a regional spokesman for the TSA, said Thursday that TSA screeners detected a loaded 9mm Sig Sauer P365 firearm — 10 rounds, none chambered — in the carry-on bag of a male passenger headed to Philadelphia.
This marks the first time a firearm has been detected on a passenger or in their carry-on bags at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport this year, said Velez.
Londonderry police responded and escorted the passenger out to place the weapon in his vehicle. He was then allowed to continue on his way to Philadelphia, Velez said.
TSA agents found more than 50 pounds of ammunition in a checked bag leaving Manchester-Boston Regional Airport back in January.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter to be transported in the belly of the plane. Guns are not permitted to be carried onto planes.
Checked firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition.
TSA agents caught two firearms at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in 2020, one in 2019, and four in 2018, according to Velez.
Nationwide, TSA officers detected 3,257 firearms on passengers or in their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year, although the total number of passengers screened at airport checkpoints across the country fell by 500 million compared to 2019 due to the pandemic. The result was that twice as many firearms per million passengers screened were detected at checkpoints in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, TSA caught approximately 10 firearms per million passengers as compared to about five firearms per million passengers in 2019.
Of the guns caught by TSA in 2020, about 83% were loaded.