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PA woman caught with loaded gun at Pittsburgh airport

PITTSBURGH, PA — A Westmoreland County woman was arrested at the Pittsburgh International Airport security checkpoint last week after authorities found a loaded gun in her carry-on bag.

In a news release, the Transportation Security Administration said agents arrested the woman Friday after discovering she had a 9mm handgun in her possession. Authorities said there were six bullets in the gun, including one in the chamber.

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The gun is the 12th found at Pittsburgh airport security checkpoints this year, authorities said. It is unclear whether the woman will face charges.

“The fact that there is a bullet in the chamber is an accident waiting to happen,” Karen Keys-Turner, TSA federal security director at the Pittsburgh airport, said in a statement. “Responsible gun owners know where their firearms are at all times and know not to bring one in their carry-on luggage.”

Last year, a record 6,737 firearms were seized at checkpoints nationwide, according to TSA data. Of those, 44 were arrested at Pittsburgh airport checkpoints.

According to the TSA, passengers can only travel with firearms if they are in checked baggage, unloaded and packed in a locked hard suitcase. The locked box must also be deposited at the airline check-in counter for declaration.

Bringing a firearm to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil fine of up to $15,000, depending on the weapon and the circumstances of its discovery, officials said.

Details on how to travel with a firearm are posted on the TSA website.