Officials from the Transportation Security Administration in South Dakota stopped a passenger with a loaded handgun on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, from getting onto a plane in the fourth such incident at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport this year. Transportation Security Administration

In the midst of a series of alarming events, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in South Dakota has yet again intercepted a passenger attempting to board a plane with a fully loaded handgun at the Sioux Falls Airport. This incident marks the fourth occurrence of its kind this year, bringing to light the ongoing challenges faced by airport security officials in ensuring the safety of air travel.

According to ABC:

During the routine screening of carry-on luggage this past Tuesday, a TSA officer at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport spotted a silhouette of a handgun on the X-ray screen, the Transportation Security Administration said in a statement detailing the event on Tuesday.

Airport officials immediately alerted the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office who responded to the airport’s security screening area and discovered that the firearm was loaded. This is not the first time this has happened at Sioux Falls Regional Airport. In fact, it is the fourth time this year that it has happened. A total of nine firearms were confiscated by authorities at the same airport in 2022.

“As summer travel picks up, these incidents present a danger to our dedicated workforce, and the traveling public,” Acting South Dakota TSA Federal Security Director David Durgan said. “We encourage all travelers to know the exact location of their firearm at all times and to pack their luggage starting with a completely empty bag to ensure no prohibited items are accidentally brought to the checkpoint.”

The TSA recently announced that the penalty for bringing weapons to an airport has increased with the fine being as high as $14,950 for a single infraction of the law, depending on the circumstances in each case, the TSA said.

It is crucial for individuals intending to travel with firearms to familiarize themselves with the guidelines provided on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website. Moreover, travelers are advised to proactively reach out to their respective airlines to ascertain any supplementary requirements or protocols pertaining to the transportation of firearms and ammunition. By adhering to these necessary precautions and seeking relevant information, individuals can ensure a safe and compliant travel experience with their firearms.

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