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Man stopped at La Crosse airport after handgun found in carry-on luggage

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TSA handgun La Crosse airport

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Officers of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) stopped a man from bringing a loaded handgun onto an airplane Tuesday morning at the La Crosse Regional Airport.

A release from the TSA said it happened around 5:15 a.m. when a TSA officer detected the .22 caliber handgun in a Washington man's carry-on bag at the checkpoint.

The TSA officer notified La Crosse Police who came and took the man and the weapon away from the checkpoint.

La Crosse Police told WXOW that the man was a military member who forgot his weapon in his bag. The man had a valid concealed carry permit. Police said the man was allowed to secure the weapon in his vehicle. No arrest was made.

The incident was the first time in 2020 that a firearm was detected at the airport. Two were found at security checkpoints at the airport in 2018.

Civil penalties for a first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a security checkpoint is around $4,100 according to the TSA. Travelers who belong to the TSA PreCheck program can also lose their privileges for a period of time.

The TSA said, "Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed separately from ammunition in a locked hardback case and declared at the airline check-in counter. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should check for firearm laws in the jurisdictions they are flying to and from."

Details on traveling with firearms is found at the TSA website.

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