PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Acting United States Attorney Steve Kaufman has announced a new way of dealing with travelers who have guns in their carryon bags at Pittsburgh International Airport security checkpoints. Following is the statement he issued today during a news conference hosted by Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
“Unfortunately, it appears that 2021 will be a record-breaking year for the number of guns found in passengers’ carry-on bags at our airport. This is not the kind of record we aspire to break.
“The United States Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the Allegheny County Police and TSA currently review every incident in which TSA screeners discover a gun during security screening at the airport checkpoint. Almost inevitably, the passenger being interviewed claims that they forgot that the gun was in their bag and no criminal charges are filed. Nevertheless, bringing guns to the checkpoint is completely unacceptable and poses a serious security risk.
“In order to send the message that airport security checkpoints and guns don’t mix, we need a deterrent strategy, in addition to the stiff civil penalties issued by TSA. So today we are announcing that in incidents involving an individual who possesses a valid concealed carry permit, we will be requesting County Sheriffs to rescind that resident’s firearms concealed carry license due to negligence. We have already secured the cooperation of the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office to revoke concealed carry permits of residents who are determined to have acted negligently. And we will be contacting Sheriff’s Offices in other counties in Western Pennsylvania requesting that they consider enacting the same policy.
“So, the message to the flying public is this: Check your bags five times if you have to, but make 100% sure that your carryon bags do not contain a firearm or other dangerous weapon. That’s responsible gun ownership, which is essential to protect the flying public”
So far in 2021, the TSA team at Pittsburgh International Airport has detected 27 firearms at the security checkpoint.
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