BIG FLATS, N.Y. (WETM) – A Florida man has been arrested for allegedly trying to bring a gun with his belongings at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport over the weekend, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The 9mm handgun was loaded with nine bullets. It was the first gun detected by TSA officers at the airport’s checkpoint so far this year.
The gun was detected via the X-ray machine as the man was entering the security checkpoint with his carry-on items. TSA officials notified the Chemung County Sheriff’s Department who confiscated the gun and arrested the man on a New York State weapons charge.
Jeffrey Hart, 52, of Land O’ Lakes, Florida, was arrested by the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office on May 22 on weapons charges.
Hart was arrested and charged with 4th-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon (a class-A misdemeanor). He was issued a ticket to appear at the Town of Big Flats Court at a later date.
Bart Johnson, TSA’s Federal Security Director for all Upstate New York airports, said this was a good catch.
“It is the responsibility of all travelers to know the contents of their baggage whether that is a carry-on bag or checked bag,” said Johnson. “Claiming that an item such as a loaded gun that is inside your luggage does not belong to you is no excuse. Not only was this individual arrested, but he also faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty for carrying a gun to a security checkpoint.”