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Man tries to smuggle weapon at Hilo airport

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.

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  • Those transients. But don’t worry it will be a “catch” (possible fine to gain the $ revenue) and then “release”. Will this individual appear on the “No Fly List” or granted a free pass under a “sanctuary” status.

  • I wonder if this was just all part of a drill to see if the TSA guys at the airport were on their toes.
    The reason is that you would have to be living somewhere in a cave all these years, not to know that you are required to declare having a firearm and have to have the firearm properly
    secured in a hard body carry case when you are flying. it is not clear in this article, if the firearm was in a carry on or was in checked baggage.

    • Read the first sentence again. It says “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…” “IN HIS CARRY-ON LUGGAGE.”

    • He was saying something about the second amendment. By the way, if you are in a state that allows carrying a revolver or pistol or has a conceal carry law, I assume that the Federal law trumps the state law (the state law is ironically, on the second amendment and right of states to legislate on this. I guess travel between islands constitutes interstate commerce?

      • The applicable federal statute if you’re a law enforcement officer or are required to be armed as part of your job, is 49 CFR 1544.219 – Carriage of accessible weapons.

        For regular civilian passengers, the applicable statute is 49 CFR 1544.203 – Acceptance and screening of checked baggage.

        Just keep in mind that curbside check-in of firearms is not allowed and each airline has its own firearms declaration form (there is no such thing as a “TSA Declaration Form”) and its own idiosyncratic rules whether it’s permissible to transport ammunition in the same hard case as the gun, and whether empty detachable magazines need to be separated from the receiver during transport.

        There are cases where TSA rules are more lenient than the rules adhered to by specific airlines. Examples include the above mentioned issue about ammunition packed with a gun. TSA rules DO NOT forbid this but many airlines do, requiring you to pack ammo in a separate locked container. For another, TSA does NOT have a limit to the number of rounds you may take with you but some airlines in effect do in the form of ammo weight limits.

        The important things to understand are that rules can change without notice at any time, and it is of vital importance to learn exactly what your airline of choice requires. Remember too, to allow an extra half-hour or more at the airport to declare your firearms and ammunition with the airline’s agent.

        All bets may be off if you’re transiting through major airports in gun-unfriendly states such as New York or New Jersey. Why this can be is a whole ‘nother story.

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