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Texas man caught with gun at Pittsburgh International Airport security checkpoint on busy travel day

CBS News Live
CBS News Pittsburgh Live

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A Texas man was stopped from bringing a gun through a security checkpoint at the Pittsburgh International Airport on Thursday, which the TSA said was the second busiest day in its history.

The TSA said the man, who wasn't identified, was stopped with a 9mm handgun at a security checkpoint. He now faces a stiff federal financial penalty. 

"Yesterday was the second busiest day in TSA history in terms of the high volume of individuals who were screened at our checkpoints nationwide," said Karen Keys-Turner, the TSA's federal security director for the airport. "It's the Memorial Day weekend travel period and this is no time to be caught with an illegal or prohibited item among your carry-on items. It slows down the line and this is a very busy place. Nobody wants to wait in a checkpoint line because someone with a gun was careless and brought his gun with him."

Allegheny County police confiscated his gun. 

While passengers can't bring a gun to an airport checkpoint, they are allowed to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they're unloaded, packed in a hard-sided locked case and declared at the check-in counter.

Thursday's gun was the fifth that TSA agents have intercepted this month. It was the 16th firearm stopped at Pittsburgh checkpoint this year. Last year, the TSA said a record 6,737 guns were caught at airport checkpoints across the country, and Pittsburgh was part of the "disturbing" trend. 

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