One Philadelphia man’s travel plans got off on the wrong foot this week.
The Transportation Security Administration reported that a man at Philadelphia International Airport tried to sneak through security on Wednesday with a handgun “artfully concealed” in his shoe.
TSA officers at the airport detected the .25 caliber handgun at a security checkpoint and alerted city police, who confiscated the gun. It was not loaded.
Gerardo Spero, the TSA’s federal security director for the airport, said this “was not a case of forgetfulness.”
“This was an intentional effort on the part of this individual to try to board an airplane with a gun,” Spero said in a written statement.
The incident marked the 18th time TSA officers at Philadelphia International Airport have discovered a gun this year, according to Spero.
Last year, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at airport security checkpoints throughout the U.S. According to the TSA, 87% of those weapons were loaded.
The TSA does allow travelers to carry firearms in checked baggage so long as they follow regulations. The firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container, and the traveler must declare the firearm when checking the bag. Passengers carrying firearms in their baggage should also check with their airline, the agency advises.
In this case, the man will face a “stiff federal financial civil penalty,” Spero said. A typical first-offense fine is $4,100, but fines can be as steep as $13,669 depending on the circumstances. If the traveler is a member of TSA PreCheck, they will also lose PreCheck privileges.