For the fourth time this year, a traveler at Hancock International Airport in Syracuse has been found with a gun in his luggage.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says the Chenango County man had a loaded 9 mm handgun in his carry-on.

The man from Sherburne, NY told TSA officials he forgot the gun was still inside the bag.

“When packing for a flight, whether you are packing your carry-on or checked bag, it’s best to start with an empty bag to eliminate the possibility that you have a prohibited or illegal item inside that bag,” said Bart R. Johnson, TSA Federal Security Director for Upstate New York. “This morning’s gun catch was the result of good work on the part of our TSA officers and a careless mistake on the part of the traveler. If you own a firearm, you need to know where it is at all times.”

A TSA officer spotted the handgun on the checkpoint X-ray machine’s monitor as the man’s belongings were being screened.

22 handguns has been confiscated at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport checkpoint from 2017 to 2022.

Guns can be transported on a flight if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and declared to the airline. At the airport during the check-in process, a passenger needs to go to the airline ticket counter to declare the firearm, ammunition and any firearm parts.

The airline will be sure that the gun travels with checked baggage in the belly of the plane, never in the cabin of the plane

The TSA also recommends travelers check with their airline prior to their flight to ensure they comply with any airline-specific requirements for transporting firearms.

Civil penalties for bringing a handgun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating circumstances.

A full summary of TSA’s civil penalties for prohibited items is also available online.