Flight attendant’s loaded gun leads to her arrest in Philadelphia, officials say

A flight attendant was stopped from boarding a plane with a loaded gun at the Philadelphia International Airport, officials announced.

The woman, an Arizona resident, unsuccessfully tried passing through an airport security checkpoint with the .380 caliber handgun before working a flight, the Transportation Security Administration said in a Sept. 18 news release.

After TSA officers found the weapon, police arrested the flight attendant, according to officials who didn’t identify her in the release.

She’s also facing a federal financial penalty, officials said.

“It is well known publicly that passengers are not permitted to carry their firearms through our security checkpoints,” Christine Assili, the TSA’s deputy federal security director for the airport, said in a statement. “But it is equally important that the public is aware that individuals who work at the airport also are not permitted to be in possession of a gun.”

“We are equally focused on screening employees as well as travelers,” Assili added.

If someone is found with a loaded firearm at an airport security checkpoint or aboard a flight, they may be fined up to $10,700 and will face criminal referral, according to the TSA.

One day after the flight attendant was found with a gun, a North Carolina man was caught with a loaded handgun at the Philadelphia airport on Sept. 16, officials said.

As of Sept. 17, 31 guns have been found at the airport’s TSA checkpoints, according to the release.

Other airport workers recently caught with guns

On Aug. 28, a man who works at one of the retail shops at the Philadelphia airport was found with a gun loaded with nine bullets, the TSA said in an earlier news release.

He told officers he forgot to remove his gun from his carry-on bag after visiting a shooting range, according to officials who said he was cited by police and is facing a financial civil penalty.

This comes two months after an airport employee at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City was caught with a loaded handgun on his way to work on June 29, McClatchy News previously reported.

From Jan. 1 through June 30, 3,251 firearms were found by TSA officers at security checkpoints nationwide, according to the TSA.

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