TSA officers caught a loaded handgun inside a backpack at the Portland International Jetport checkpoint on Feb. 21. Credit: Courtesy of TSA via CBS 13

PORTLAND — The Transportation Security Administration said it caught a Maine man at the Portland International Jetport checkpoint with a loaded gun Friday morning.

Officials say a TSA officer spotted the Fairfield man’s 9 mm handgun loaded with six bullets when his backpack entered the checkpoint X-ray machine.

Airport police were called, confiscated the gun and detained the man for questioning.

Passengers are allowed to travel with firearms only in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked and packed separately from ammunition.

Credit: Courtesy of TSA via CBS 13

Individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. Travelers with concealed firearm permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes in their carry-on bags.

The TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,333 for weapons violations. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100.

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

This is the second gun to be found at the Jetport so far this year. Three guns were found in 2019 and four in 2018, according to the TSA.