Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport reported finding a loaded gun in a traveler's carry-on luggage on Sunday.
Airport officials say the 9 mm Glock 43 pistol was loaded with seven rounds of ammunition. It was found during routine X-ray screening at about 4:20 a.m.
Santa Barbara Airport Police reportedly responded to the security checkpoint and interviewed the traveler who had a ticket to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Airport officials say the traveler will be charged with carrying a concealed weapon.
This is the first firearm found at the airport in Santa Barbara since the beginning of the year. Officials say no guns were found in carry-on luggage in 2021, and just one was found in 2020.
"For the safety of TSA employees, the airport community and other passengers, no traveler should ever bring a firearm in their carry-on luggage to the security checkpoint," said TSA's Federal Security Director for SBA, Anita Minaei, in a press release. "If you are planning to travel with a firearm, please take a few minutes to properly pack and secure it for transit in checked baggage on a commercial aircraft. This will save you time and money."
In addition to criminal charges, the TSA may fine a passenger found illegally transporting a firearm between $2,050 and $13,669. People who violate the rules regarding traveling with firearms will also have their Trusted Traveler status and TSA PreCheck® expedited screening benefits revoked.
Firearms can only be transported on a commercial aircraft if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and placed in checked baggage. Ammunition, firearm parts, and replica firearms must also be checked.
Click here for more information on traveling with a firearm.