Shutdown TSA

TSA agents screen travelers at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport amid the recent government shutdown.

MANCHESTER — TSA agents discovered four guns in carry-on bags at security checkpoints at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in 2018, one more than was found the year before.

“When a firearm is caught at a checkpoint, TSA contacts the local police at that airport,” Lisa Farbstein, spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, said Thursday. “At that point, the police take over the scene.

“In New Hampshire, typically, the police allow the person to hand it off to a non-traveling companion or put it in their car,” she said.

More than 926,000 passengers took off from Manchester’s airport in 2018.

People who bring weapons to a checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. A typical first offense is $3,900, according to the TSA. They also can face criminal charges.

Londonderry police, who provide security at the airport, weren’t immediately available for comment.

Across New England, there were 45 handguns found in 2018, versus 29 caught in 2017.

Nationally, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints in 2018, averaging about 11.6 firearms per day. That was about 7 percent higher than in 2017.

“Even if a traveler has a concealed weapon permit, firearms are not permitted to be carried onto an airplane,” the TSA said. “However, travelers with proper firearm permits can travel legally with their firearms in their checked bags if they follow a few simple guidelines.”

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport topped the 2018 list with 298 guns discovered. Boston’s Logan International Airport had 21 while the Portland (Maine) International Jetport found four.