Loaded Handgun Found in Carry-On Bag at Santa Barbara Airport
TSA Discovered Firearm in Man’s Bag During Routine X-Ray Screening at Airport’s Security Checkpoint
A male traveler was escorted out of the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA) by law enforcement on Tuesday morning for allegedly packing a loaded fireman — a 9mm Beretta 92FS with a magazine loaded with 14 rounds of ammunition — in his carry-on bag.
The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) discovered the firearm at 4:50 a.m., when an officer spotted the image of a handgun in the man’s bag during routine X-ray screening at the airport’s security checkpoint.
Santa Barbara Airport Police responded to the security checkpoint after being notified by TSA officers. Police officers then removed the firearm from the X-ray tunnel and escorted the man out of the airport. The passenger, who was ticketed for travel to Phoenix Sky Harbor International, did not make his flight.
This is the first firearm discovered in carry-on luggage at SBA so far this year, according to a TSA spokesperson. In 2022, TSA officers discovered two firearms at SBA at the security checkpoint.
“Today’s firearm discovery illustrates why TSA officers must remain vigilant as they screen one bag, one passenger at a time,” said TSA Federal Security Director at SBA Anita Minaei.
“Because the discovery of even one firearm in carry-on luggage is one too many, I am asking firearm owners who choose to travel with a gun on a commercial aircraft to take a few minutes to review the policies and procedures for traveling with a firearm.”
TSA said it will review the circumstances of the firearm incident and levy a civil penalty against the passenger. The recommended civil penalty for a firearm starts at $2,050 and can go up to the statutory maximum of more than $14,950 per violation. TSA evaluates each incident on a case-by-case basis.
More information on traveling legally with a firearm is available on TSA’s website. For information on how to travel with any type of item, visit TSA’s “Can I Bring” website.