A .45 caliber handgun loaded with nine rounds of ammunition was found in the backpack of a Cranston man at T.F. Green International Airport’s security checkpoint on Monday, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
In a statement, TSA said the weapon was spotted via the X-ray machine at the security checkpoint. Airport police then responded and detained the man, who claimed he had forgotten he had the gun in his possession.
The weapon was confiscated and the man – whose identity was not provided in TSA’s statement – was released after questioning.
According to the statement, Monday’s incident marks the second time this year a gun has been found at T.G. Green’s security checkpoint. Fourteen weapons have been discovered at the checkpoint since 2015.
Nationally, 4,432 firearms were found in carry-on bags at airport security checkpoints in 2019, according to TSA. That represents a 5 percent increase over 2018. Eighty-seven percent of the weapons discovered last year were loaded.
“As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement,” TSA’s statement reads. “Even travelers with concealed firearm permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes. In addition, TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties for weapons violations. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100.