A 40-year-old Hilo man traveling to Honolulu last month was the first person trying to smuggle a weapon at Hilo Airport in his carry-on luggage this year, the Transportation Services Administration reported.
Officers with the Transportation Security Administration discovered a .22 caliber Phoenix Arms HP22 pistol loaded with seven rounds of ammunition at the security checkpoint April 17 during routine screening of carry-on baggage.
Upon seeing the image of the firearm on the x-ray screen, TSA summoned the law enforcement, which arrested the man on suspicion of loaded firearm and ammunition place to keep. He was released from police custody the following depending further investigation. Charges are pending.
It was one of 73 firearms TSA discovered at security checkpoints nationwide between April, 15 and 21.
Firearms, ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas of firearms are always prohibited in carry-on baggage. However, these items can be transported in checked baggage provided the traveler declares them to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process, the TSA reported.
Firearms in checked baggage must be unloaded and stored in a locked, hard-sided container. TSA urges passengers to contact their airline for specific firearm and ammunition policies and to check local laws related to the carrying and transport of firearms.
In addition to facing local or state criminal charges, TSA reserves the right to levy a civil penalty of up to $7,500 for bringing a dangerous weapon like a firearm to the checkpoint. Each penalty is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.