Crime - Sacto 911

Man says gun found in carry-on luggage at Sacramento airport was mom’s, not his

For the 13th time this year, a passenger was found with a gun in carry-on luggage at Sacramento International Airport.

On July 8, an officer with the Transportation Security Administration detected what appeared to be a firearm while operating the X-ray machine at the Terminal A checkpoint.

A Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy responded and determined that the bag belonged to a 48-year-old man who was traveling on Delta Airlines from Sacramento to Seattle. The deputy found that the 380-caliber Ruger LCP handgun had seven rounds of ammunition in the magazine and one in the chamber. Two folding knives with blades about 3 1/2 inches in length were also found.

The passenger told authorities that he had borrowed his mother’s bag and the firearm belonged to her, according to the TSA. The man was cited and released, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

The TSA discovered 78 firearms in carry-on bags the same week at airports around the country. Of those, 62 were loaded and 32 had a round chambered.

Travelers who bring a firearm to checkpoints can be arrested and fined up to $11,000, according to the TSA. The TSA notes that just because a gun or knife is found in carry-on luggage, it does not mean the traveler had bad intentions.

That is for law enforcement to determine. Often, the traveler simply forgets the prohibited items are in the bag.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews