Conn. man arrested on gun charge at Kennedy

An aerial view of Kennedy Airport. (April 15,

An aerial view of Kennedy Airport. (April 15, 2011) (Credit: Getty Images)

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A Connecticut man was arrested at Kennedy Airport on Monday after a TSA officer discovered a loaded .45-caliber handgun during a checkpoint inspection, officials said.

A Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman said the Stamford man, who was bound for Cancun, Mexico, was arrested by Port Authority police on a weapons charge after the .45-caliber pistol -- with seven rounds in the clip and another in the chamber -- was found as the man's items passed through a metal detector. There was no impact on airport operations.

The Port Authority identified the man as Michael Parrotta, 25, and said he was arrested on charges of not being licensed to carry a firearm in New York and having a loaded firearm in New York. Arraignment information was not immediately available.

Officials said the weapon was concealed in a carry-on and that Parrotta was attempting to board American Airlines Flight 1055 to Cancun.

Travelers can be fined up to $3,000 if they are found with prohibited items, in addition to potential jail sentences for conviction on weapons charges.

The TSA assessed more than $3.7 million in civil penalties for firearms discovered in carry-on bags in 2012.

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared, the TSA said. "Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition," the TSA said in a statement.

Officials noted that firearms law varies -- and that passengers need to be familiar with those laws before travel.

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