Crime

Loaded weapons found in a carry-on. Versailles man, 25, stopped in N.J. airport.

How to travel on planes with guns

The Transportation Security Administration put out a video with tips for avoiding trouble when traveling with firearms .
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The Transportation Security Administration put out a video with tips for avoiding trouble when traveling with firearms .

A Woodford County man has been charged with weapons crimes after he attempted to take two loaded handguns in carry-on luggage through a New Jersey airport security checkpoint.

Transportation Security Administration officers at the Newark Liberty International Airport found a .38-caliber revolver loaded with six bullets and a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun loaded with 12 bullets in a bag carried Wednesday by 25-year-old John-Clay Curtis, TSA said. Each gun had a bullet in the chamber.

Curtis was initially charged in state court with two counts of illegal possession of a weapon and one count of illegal possession of an ammunition magazine, according to the New Jersey Port Authority and jail records. He was placed in the Essex County jail. Others in similar cases have also faced federal charges.

The guns were the sixth and seventh caught by TSA officers at Newark so far this year. Nationwide, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags last year and 86 percent of them were loaded, according to TSA.

“It is a disturbing trend that TSA officials would prefer to see go in the opposite direction,” TSA said.

A typical penalty for a first offense of carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is a $3,900 fine and TSA can assess penalties up to $13,000 for weapons violations, it said in a release.

The TSA’s rules for traveling with a gun

From July 2018.

  • Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided case and placed in checked baggage. Clips and small arms ammunition must be securely boxed in the case with the unloaded firearm. Ammunition exceeding .75 caliber or shotgun shells cannot go in the same case as the firearm.

  • Don’t put guns, clips, ammunition or other gun parts in carry-on baggage.

  • When you check in, go to the airline ticket counter to declare the firearm, ammunition and firearm parts.

  • Check gun laws at your destination before you fly.

  • Gun replicas also must go in checked luggage.

  • Still unsure what to do? Use the “Can I Bring?” feature on the TSA app. You can also tweet or message “Ask TSA” with questions.
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