Transportation Security Administration officers caught an assault rifle with a high-powered magazine and an arsenal of ammunition artfully concealed behind the lining of a suitcase Monday, July 20, while they were conducting screening operations of checked baggage at Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal C.
“Our TSA officers are very skilled at detecting firearms and other prohibited items,” said Tom Carter, TSA’s federal security director for New Jersey. “In this case, they detected an assault rifle, which is illegal in New Jersey; a high-capacity magazine, which is also illegal in New Jersey; four boxes of hollow-point bullets, again, illegal in New Jersey; three magazines, one of which was fully loaded; and two additional boxes of rifle ammunition.”
“This was an incredibly good catch on the part of our officers because the traveler attempted to evade detection by concealing the items beneath the lining of her suitcase,” said Carter.
When the TSA officers detected the weapon and ammunition, they immediately alerted the Port Authority Police, who tracked down the suspect, and her traveling companion, who were in the terminal near their departing gate.
Police confiscated the weapon and ammunition and arrested both individuals.
There has been a 93.8 percent drop in the number of people screened at TSA checkpoints comparing the periods from March 22 to April 22 of last year with the current year, but TSA officers actually caught more guns per people screened.
The discovery rate for this current period is 2.68 times greater than for the same period in 2019.
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