TSA discovered 2 loaded firearms at Mitchell International Airport in 3 days

MILWAUKEE -- Officials with the Transportation Security Administration discovered two loaded firearms at Mitchell International Airport at security screening checkpoints over a three-day period.

According to a news release from TSA officials, on Sunday, June 9, a .22 caliber Ruger, loaded with nine rounds, was found during X-ray screening at one of the checkpoints.

On Tuesday morning, June 11, another passenger brought a .380 caliber Sig Sauer, loaded with eight rounds, in a carry-on bag. That firearm also was detected during X-ray screening.

In both cases, an officer from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office responded, took possession of the firearms, and interviewed the passengers. Any determination about criminal charges was up to law enforcement.

“Under no circumstances should a passenger bring a firearm to an airport security checkpoint,” said Mark Lendvay, TSA Wisconsin federal security director in the release. “We have recently posted additional signage prohibiting firearms at our checkpoints here to further educate passengers. Passengers who wish to travel with a firearm, permissible in a checked bag only, should check with their airline and review TSA’s rules before coming to the airport.”

Firearms can only be transported in a checked bag, if they are declared to the airline at the ticket counter and properly packed in a locked, hard-sided case.

TSA can assess a civil penalty of up to $13,333 per violation. Factors TSA considers when determining the civil penalty amount include whether the firearm was loaded. Individuals who violate rules regarding traveling with firearms will have Trusted Traveler status and TSA Pre✓ expedited screening benefits revoked for a period of time.

TSA officials said 10 firearms have been found at checkpoints at Mitchell Airport in 2019. In 2018, TSA intercepted 11 total firearms at MKE checkpoints.

TSA found a record-breaking 4,239 firearms -- an average of 11.6 per day -- at airport security checkpoints around the country in 2018, a 7% increase over 2017.