Florida Man Caught Trying to Board Plane at Airport With Loaded Gun Twice In 3 Weeks, Authorities Say

A Florida man has been arrested for allegedly bringing a loaded gun into an airport in upstate New York for the second time in less than a month.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) authorities say the unnamed man was caught with the weapon on Wednesday at Syracuse's Hancock International Airport. Few details are available about the man.

The man was allegedly carrying a .32 caliber pistol loaded with seven bullets, along with a box containing an additional 41 bullets in his carry-on luggage. The weapon was confiscated by Syracuse police, who later arrested him on weapons charges. On November 6, the man was allegedly caught carrying a loaded gun at another airport located about 60 miles away from the Syracuse airport.

"It's absolutely inexcusable for someone to forget that they are bringing a loaded gun to an airport 21 days after being caught making the identical mistake at the Ithaca Airport," said TSA Federal Security Director for Upstate New York Bart R. Johnson in a press release.

"Bringing a loaded handgun to a checkpoint that is congested with holiday travelers, families and children is both careless and reckless," added Johnson. "You can be assured that in addition to the arrest, he will face thousands of dollars in a civil penalty."

TSA say the man was carrying a 9mm handgun at the Ithaca Thompkins Regional Airport earlier in the month. It was discovered during an X-ray of the man's backpack. TSA informed the Thompkins County Sheriff's Office, who confiscated the weapon and detained the man. The gun was said to be loaded with seven bullets, the same number of bullets authorities say were in the .32 caliber gun he was caught with three weeks later.

In the first incident, the man claimed the gun belonged to "one of his friends" and he was unaware he was carrying it. He also insists he did not know he was carrying a loaded gun into the airport on Wednesday.

Authorities say that an average of 11.6 guns per day are discovered in carry-on bags at airport security checkpoints. TSA claims they discovered 4,239 guns in 2018, 86 percent of which were loaded. Bringing a gun to an airport security checkpoint is illegal and subject to possible criminal charges, in addition to TSA potentially imposing civil penalties of up to $13,000.

"This incident occurred the day before Thanksgiving, which is one of the busiest travel days of the year," said Johnson. "Fortunately, our TSA officers are very good at their jobs and are actively seeking prohibited items to ensure a secure flight for passengers and crew."

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Authorities say the incident was the second time in less than a month that the Florida man had been caught with a loaded gun at an airport in upstate New York. Getty