NEWARK, N.J. (PIX11) — A Pennsylvania man was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport after a 9mm handgun was found in his backpack at a Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint on Saturday, according to authorities.

Port Authority Police were called when TSA agents saw a handgun in a bag on their X-ray machine at Terminal C, officials said. The gun was taken from the man, who traveled from Canadensis, Pennsylvania.

The man was arrested on a state weapons charge and faces a federal fine of up to $15,000, according to officials.

“Travelers need to pay more attention to the items that they have inside their carry-on bags,” said Thomas Carter, TSA’s federal security director for New Jersey. “Our officers have caught more guns in the first nine months of the year than we have ever caught in a full year. We are at a point where each gun that is caught sets a new record. It’s as though there is an epidemic of guns showing up at our checkpoints.”

As of Sunday, the TSA has caught 18 guns at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to officials.

Jonathan Rizk is a digital journalist who has covered local news in the New York City and Washington D.C. areas. He has been with PIX11 since August 2022. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.