For the second time in two days, Transportation Security Administration agents and airport police seized a loaded gun at a security checkpoint at the Portland International Jetport, the TSA said Friday.

On Thursday, a Florida man was found with a loaded 9 mm handgun in a backpack that he sent through an X-ray scanner, the TSA said in a statement.

The gun was being carried in a soft zipper case, according to photos released by the TSA.

It is the second hand gun detected this year at the Jetport. The first was found a day earlier on Wednesday, when a Minot woman sent her purse through an X-ray machine containing a loaded 9 mm pistol. She told investigators that she forgot that the gun was in her handbag.

Traveling with firearms is legal, but passengers must follow guidelines set out by the TSA, according to a statement by TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein.

“Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms only in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared,” Farbstein said. “Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition.”


Bringing a firearm to a TSA checkpoint is a federal civil infraction that carries a fine as high as $13,333. Most first-time offenders are fined about $4,100.

The TSA seizes thousands of firearms from passengers at airports each year, and keeps a blog of their findings, which is mostly a showcase of firearms and ammunition seized from passengers.

In 2018, there were an estimated 393 million firearms owned by civilians in circulation throughout the United States, according to an annual survey conducted by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.

Between Sept. 23 and Oct. 6 alone, TSA reported finding 206 firearms nationwide.

It’s not the only potentially dangerous — or dangerous-looking — items the agency found in that period.

A traveler in San Antonio tried to bring two empty hand grenades onto a flight. Another traveler in Detroit did the same thing. And someone traveling from the Oklahoma City airport attempted to bring a six-inch long replica artillery shell aboard their flight.

TSA blogs about the dangerous, strange and illegal items they find in passengers’ baggage, including a weekly collage of photos showing the vast quantity and variety of handguns that turn up with passengers every week.

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