A New Jersey man didn't make it past airport security on Friday after TSA officials discovered a gun tucked away inside his belt buckle.
The Ridgefield Park man was stopped in Terminal C at Newark-Liberty International Airport at the start of the weekend when officers thought they found a replica gun inside of the large belt buckle.
According to the TSA, a closer inspection proved the gun to be real and "could pop out of its decorate metallic oval frame." Officials say the New Jersey man claimed he forgot he had the gun and belt buckle tucked away inside of his backpack.
Port Authority Police seized the firearm and arrested the man on weapons charges, TSA officials said. He's not the only person stopped at the airport this month with a gun.
Officials said a man from Easton, Pennsylvania, was stopped on June 3 with a handgun inside his carry-on bag in Terminal A. He also claimed to have forgotten to be carrying the firearm as he attempted to clear the security checkpoint.
Those arrests bring the total number of firearm arrests at the airport to five for the year, according to the TSA. Eleven firearm stops were made at Newark checkpoints in 2019 and 2020 according to TSA stats.
"Claiming to forget that you have a gun with you is inexcusable," Thomas Carter, TSA's Federal Security Director for New Jersey, said in a statement. "If you own a gun you need to know where it is at all times."
Carter says both men face federal penalties up to "thousands of dollars."