Screeners with the Transportation Security Administration stopped a passenger at the Portland International Jetport Thursday morning as he tried to board a flight with a .32-caliber Beretta handgun in his carry-on luggage.

The incident happened at 10:30 a.m. and stalled passenger screening while Portland police were called, according to Michael McCarthy, spokesman for the TSA.

Police determined the man does not face criminal charges – he had a permit to carry a concealed weapon – but will almost surely face a civil fine of between $1,500 and $11,000, McCarthy said.

The 51-year-old man was flying to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. He was apologetic and said he had forgotten the gun was in the bag, Portland police said.

There have been four firearms discovered at jetport checkpoints so far in 2014, McCarthy said.

“The most common explanation we hear is that they forgot it was there,” he said. “As the owner it’s your responsibility to travel with a firearm in the proper manner.”

Gun owners can store their weapons unloaded in a hard-sided case in checked baggage if they declare it to the airline, he said.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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Twitter: @Mainehenchman

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