An American citizen was expected to face Sydney Central Local Court yesterday, 7 March 2022, after a loaded firearm was allegedly found in his carry-on luggage at Sydney International Airport security screening.
Australian Federal Police file image (Darwin Airport)
Australian Federal Police officers were called after a security worker monitoring an x-ray saw what they suspected to be a firearm in the 47-year-old man’s carry-on baggage on Sunday morning.
Police inspected his luggage and found a loaded Ruger pistol.
The man was stopped from boarding a flight to the United States and police questioned him about the weapon, which was seized.
The man was charged and refused police bail to appear in court on three offences:
- Carrying weapons through a screening point, contrary to section 47 (1) of the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is seven years imprisonment.
- Unauthorised possession or use of firearms generally, contrary to section 7A(1) of the Firearms Act 1996 (NSW). The maximum penalty for this offence is five years imprisonment.
- Special Offence relating to tier 2 goods, contrary to section 233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment.
AFP Sydney Airport Police Commander Detective Acting Superintendent Scott Sykes said officers had allegedly found one bullet in the chamber of the handgun, which meant it was actioned and ready to be fired.
“The man claimed he had forgotten the weapon was in his luggage but this situation could have had deadly consequences for other travellers, even if it had discharged accidentally during the flight,” Detective Acting Superintendent Sykes said.
“Security screening staff at the airport were vigilant and along with AFP officers, acted quickly to ensure the safety of the travelling public.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: I couldn’t find any news on what happened in court yesterday (if the man appeared as planned). I’ll update this story when news comes to hand. If anyone can help me out with this, I’d be very appreciative. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org