SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers discovered an “unusual item” while screening carry-on luggage at the Salt Lake International Airport on Wednesday: a loaded foldable pistol.

TSA said the gun was discovered during a routine X-Ray screening of carry-on luggage at the security checkpoint around 3 p.m. on March 1. The pistol is described as a foldable, single-shot .22 caliber Trailblazer LifeCard pistol. It was found with three rounds of ammunition.

Upon the detection of the gun, TSA notified the Salt Lake City Police Department‘s airport bureau and interviewed the man who owned the carry-on. According to TSA, the man was traveling to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and was allowed to board his flight, but without the foldable pistol.

TSA consistently reminds travelers to be aware of the contents of their bags to make sure they are not bringing firearms or other prohibited items in carry-on luggage. Unfortunately, some travelers continue to ignore that advice,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Utah Matt Davis.

TSA officials said this is the 11th firearm discovered in a carry-on at Salt Lake International Airport in 2023. At this same point in 2022, TSA reported 15 guns discovered in carry-ons at the security checkpoint in Salt Lake.

“I commend the TSA officers at SLC and across the country who carry out the security mission of the agency every day,” said Davis. “Wednesday’s firearm discovery at SLC proves that their attention to detail and commitment to screening one bag, one traveler at a time is key to ensuring that security threats do not make it into the cabin of aircraft.”

TSA said it reviews the circumstances of every firearm incident and could impose a civil penalty against the passenger starting at a $2,050 fine that could go as high as $14,950 per violation.

It is possible to legally travel with a gun at the airport. When traveling with a gun, it must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container that goes with checked baggage only. During the check-in process, passengers must declare any firearm, ammunition, or gun parts at the airline ticket counter.