Traveler arrested after TSA finds handgun contained in belt buckle: ‘Inexcusable’

U.S. and World

Officers at the Terminal C checkpoint discovered the item tucked inside two separate zippered cases following an X-ray of the passenger’s bag on June 11. (TSA)

(NEXSTAR) – That’s definitely not gonna fly.

A traveler at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) was stopped at a TSA checkpoint last week after officers discovered a handgun in his carry-on bag. But this wasn’t just any handgun — it was a handgun somewhat disguised as a belt buckle.

Officers at the Terminal C checkpoint discovered the item tucked inside two separate zippered cases following an X-ray of the passenger’s bag on June 11. TSA officers initially thought the item to be a “large belt buckle with a replica gun on it,” but found it to be “an actual real firearm that could pop out of its decorative metallic oval frame,” according to a press release.

The buckle also appears to be embossed with the words “Freedom Arms,” which is the name of a firearm company in Wyoming.

TSA Gun Belt Buckle
Officers at the Terminal C checkpoint discovered the item tucked inside two separate zippered cases following an X-ray of the passenger’s bag on June 11. (TSA)

The traveler, from Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, told authorities that he forgot the gun was in his bag. Officers with the Port Authority Police were called to the checkpoint to confiscate the prohibited item and place the man under arrest.

“Claiming to forget that you have a gun with you is inexcusable,” said Thomas Carter, TSA’s Federal Security Director for New Jersey, in a press release. “If you own a gun you need to know where it is at all times.”

The TSA also stressed that guns are not permitted in carry-on baggage, but can be transported in checked baggage when properly declared and packed.

Recently, the TSA has also noted an uptick in incidents of passengers trying to bring firearms through security, even despite lower traveler throughput due to the pandemic. In 2020 alone, the agency confiscated 10 firearms for every million passengers — or approximately “twice as many” as had been confiscated at U.S. checkpoints in 2019.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

More As Seen on 2 NEWS
2019 TRICK OR TREAT TIMES

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

BestReviews

More BestReviews

Latest News Videos

Dan Abrams Live | Florida deputies discuss ambush as gunman opened fire with baby in car

11 families displaced after apartment building fire in Clayton

James Hamilton details abuse of 6-year-old, siblings before child's death

Dayton Unit NAACP hosts candidate forum so residents can get answers

Help for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits: Congress says more needs to be done

Pfizer booster rollout begins in Clark County

More News