ALBANY, New York April 18 2017– A first officer was arrested at Albany International Airport Monday after Transportation Security Administration officers discovered a loaded .380 caliber handgun in his carry-on bag.
The TSA said the firearm was loaded with six bullets.
TSA officers detected the firearm among the Southwest co-pilot’s carry-on items as he entered the airport checkpoint, the agency said in a news release.
The TSA officer immediately contacted the Albany County Sheriff’s Deputy who was assigned to the checkpoint, who responded, confiscated the firearm and arrested the pilot on a weapons charge. The flight, bound for Chicago-Midway Airport, was delayed for approximately four hours.
“This incident highlights the importance of what TSA and its dedicated security officers do each and every day in protecting the flying public,” said TSA’s Upstate New York Federal Security Director Bart R. Johnson. “I am grateful to the support that the Albany County Sheriff’s Office provides to TSA on a daily basis.”
“The security of Albany International Airport is one of my top priorities for the sheriff’s office and this incident highlights the importance of the work we do there,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig D. Apple, Sr.
While firearms, firearm parts and ammunition are not permitted in carry-on bags, they can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline.
People who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA of up to $12,000.