TSA at RSW catches gun in bag, prompts arrest

Posted at 10:21 PM, Apr 20, 2016

A Lehigh Acres woman was arrested after TSA at Southwest Florida International Airport found a gun in her carry on, and she didn't have a concealed weapons permit to carry it.

Guns aren't allowed in carry on bags, but usually if travelers are caught by TSA, they pay a fine up to $3,000.

Julie Kimmel, 33, was arrested because she didn't have a concealed carry permit.

According to the Lee County Port Authority, an X-ray poerator found the gun in her bag and notified police.

Kimmel told officers she forgot the gun was in her bag.

"How do you not know there's a firearm in your suitcase? Because you pack right before you leave, usually," Patrick Kittler, who traveled to Fort Myers from Chicago, said.

"Yes, everybody has their absent-minded moments, but this one was kind of a big deal," Emily Sinchak, also traveling from Chicago, said.

Fox 4 went to Kimmel's home to get her side of the story, but the man living there said Kimmel moved to Maryland.

Her cell phone has been disconnected.

Four in Your Corner did some digging and learned TSA confiscated 12 guns at RSW last year along with 1500 pounds of other prohibited items like knives, swords, and fake grenades.

Travelers applauded the efforts of TSA for keeping them safe as they take flight, with a message to travelers like Kimmel:

"Know what's in your bags before you get on a plane," Kittler said.

You can bring a gun in your checked luggage on a plane as long as you store it properly, notify the airline, and have a concealed carry permit.