SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - An officer with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered a loaded gun inside a passenger's carry-on bag during a routine screening at the Santa Barbara Airport.
The TSA officer quickly contacted the Santa Barbara Airport Patrol who responded to the security checkpoint.
The gun was a 9mm Glock 43 pistol loaded with seven rounds of ammunition including one in the chamber. The firearm was inside the carry-on baggage of a woman traveling from Santa Barbara to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
The incident happened on Feb. 9 at 4:30 p.m.
TSA says firearms in checked baggage must be unloaded and stored in a locked, hard-sided container. They urge passengers to contact their airline for specific firearm and ammunition policies and to check local laws related to the carrying and transport of firearms.
The gun was confiscated and the female passenger was cited. She was allowed to fly to Phoenix.
TSA says this is the first firearm discovery of 2018 at the Santa Barbara Airport. No guns were discovered in 2017 at the airport, and two firearms were discovered at security checkpoint in 2016.
Nationwide in 2017, approximately 3,957 firearms were found in passengers' carry-on bags.
Each penalty of bringing a dangerous weapon to checkpoint is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, according to TSA, but anyone in violation faces local and state criminal charges as well as having a civil penalty of up to $9,800 levied against them.
Additional traveler information related to commercial air transport of guns and ammunition can be found at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/transporting-firearms-and-ammunition.