AVOCA, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — TSA officers at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport stopped a man from bringing a handgun onto a flight Monday. New penalty rates for unchecked firearms raise up to a $15,000 fine.

According to Lisa Farbstein, a spokesperson for the airport, a man from New Milford was found with a .380 caliber gun, not loaded, tucked into his laptop bag when it entered the X-ray checkpoint machine.

Police were notified once the gun was spotted and the man told officers he did not realize that his gun was with him because he thought he had lost it several months ago.

TSA says they reserve the right to issue a civil penalty of up to $15,000 to individuals who bring weapons with them to a checkpoint.

Travelers are allowed to transport their firearms as checked baggage if they are properly packed and declared at their airline ticket counter to be transported in the belly of the plane with checked baggage.

“If you own a firearm, you need to know where it is at all times. Even if someone has a permit to carry, they still are not permitted to bring a gun onto a flight,” said Karen Keys-Turner, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport.

Checked firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition.

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.