Florida woman charged after gun is found in baggage at Wilmington Airport


Willmington Airport (ILG) had its first case of an individual bringing a load gun through TSA screening on Sunday.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Wilmington Airport reported a Florida woman had the gun in her carry-on bag.

It’s believed to the first such incident during periods when the airport had TSA officers. The number of such incidents nationwide has increased to more than 6,000 a year with most of the guns being loaded. Those arrested claim they forgot about the gun being in the baggage.

One incident several years ago at a Maryland airport involved a Delaware State Senator who was given probation. Last month, a Delaware woman was found with a loaded gun at the Philadelphia International Airport.

The gun at Wilmington Airport was found as the woman entered the security checkpoint. The X-ray unit alerted on the carry-on bag, which led to closer inspection. The firearm was removed by Delaware River and Bay Authority Police, who arrested the woman on a weapons charge, the TSA reported.

The woman also faces a civil penalty for bringing a gun to a TSA security checkpoint. The penalty for carrying weapons can reach as high as $15,000, depending on the circumstances. In Delaware, the maximum penalty for a concealed weapon is two years in prison.

“Bringing guns to checkpoints is a serious security violation,” said Gerardo Spero, TSA’s federal Security Director for the airport. “Our officers are vigilant and are focused on preventing weapons from getting onto an airplane. People who bring their guns to our checkpoints create a potentially dangerous situation through their own actions. Responsible gun owners know where their guns are and they know not to bring them to a checkpoint.”

Passengers are only permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage.  Firearms must be unloaded and packed in a hard-sided locked case. The locked case must be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared. Details on are on its website.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and gun owners have a duty to ensure they are not violating any local firearm laws. Additionally, contacting the respective airline could reveal any additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Bringing a gun to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil penalty because TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers with guns and gun parts at a checkpoint. Civil penalties for bringing a gun into a checkpoint can run into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating circumstances.

This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because a concealed carry permit does not allow a firearm to be carried onto an airplane.

If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.