Church security member stopped from carrying gun onto flight

Aimee Ambrose
York Dispatch

A Mechanicsburg man told federal security he forgot he had his gun on him when they stopped him from carrying it onto a flight recently.

The man had a loaded 9mm handgun in a carry-on bag when he went through a security checkpoint at Harrisburg International Airport on March 31, the Transportation Security Administration said in a news release.

This loaded handgun inside a traveler’s carry-on bag was detected by Transportation Security Administration officers at Harrisburg International Airport on March 31.

An X-ray scan alerted a TSA officer to check the man’s bag, and security found the gun, which was loaded with 10 bullets, the release shows.

When questioned, the TSA said the man told officers he carries the gun when he goes to church because he’s a member of the church’s security detail, and he forgot he had it with him when he went to the airport.

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The release shows he faces, “a stiff financial civil penalty” from the TSA. The maximum fine for carrying weapons through a security checkpoint can reach $15,000.

The man’s name was not released.

The TSA stated a reminder that airline passengers can only travel with firearms in checked baggage. They have to be unloaded and packed in a hard-sided locked case. That case then has to be declared at an airline check-in counter.

Friday’s incident was the third time this year that security caught firearms at the Harrisburg International check point, according to the release.

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Ten such incidents were recorded at the airport last year.

This also came as an Etters man was charged in federal court last month stemming from an airline incident in August 2022.

Zachary Easterly, 38, faces a misdemeanor count of assaulting a federal officer as authorities allege he assaulted a special agent of the Federal Air Marshal Service.

— Aimee Ambrose can be reached at aambrose@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.