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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Public Outreach Initiative Aimed At Reducing The Number of Firearms Found At Tulsa Airport Security Checkpoint

TULSA, Okla.—United States Attorney Danny C. Williams Sr. of the Northern District of Oklahoma and Federal Security Director Stephen Cortright for Oklahoma, announced today that they have begun a public outreach initiative to remind passengers that firearms and other dangerous items are prohibited at airport security checkpoints.

“Whenever TSA discovers a firearm at a security checkpoint, we alert law enforcement, and they make decisions about any criminal penalties,” said Director Cortright. “TSA also has the ability to assess a civil penalty, which can be as much as $11,000.”

In 2014, TSA officers intercepted 23 firearms at the security checkpoint at TUL. So far this year, TSA has discovered 19 firearms at TUL. United States Attorney Williams says, “We want to emphasize that possessing any type of firearm at the airport or attempting to carry such items on board aircraft, without following proper procedures, will not be tolerated in the Northern District of Oklahoma.”

Federal and state laws prohibit people from carrying guns into the sterile area of airports or onto planes, though passengers can legally travel with a firearm in a checked bag. The firearm must be unloaded, properly packed in a hard-sided, locked case, and declared to the airline at the ticket counter. Ammunition, firearm parts—including firearm frames, receivers, clips and magazines—are also prohibited in carry-on bags, but can be packed in checked bags.

Cases involving such violations can be prosecuted by either the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office or the United States Attorney’s Office. Cases prosecuted federally as felonies, carry imprisonment up to 10 years and fines of up to $250,000.00. Cases may also be filed as a misdemeanor offense by either state or federal prosecutors.

For more information about how to properly pack a firearm in a checked bag, go to: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition

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Updated July 20, 2015