NORFOLK, Va. — A man was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers yesterday, October 5, at the Norfolk International Airport checkpoint when the TSA officers detected a loaded .25 caliber handgun among his carry-on items.
TSA officers detected the gun, which was loaded with six rounds, as the traveler was passing through the airport checkpoint. The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the handgun as it passed along the conveyor belt. The man claimed he did not know the gun was in his bag.
Yesterday marked the 11th gun that TSA officers have detected at Norfolk so far this calendar year. By comparison, seven guns were stopped during all of 2014.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Norfolk Airport Authority Police, which responded, confiscated the gun and ammunition and issued the man a citation on a state weapons charge. There was no impact to airport operations. The man was ticketed to fly to Baltimore, Maryland to connect to another flight to Fort Myers, Florida.
This incident serves as a reminder that passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint and TSA’s advice to passengers is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.
Weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline. Passengers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.
For more information on how to properly travel with a firearm, please visit our website here. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.
TSA screens approximately 2 million passengers and their luggage every day for prohibited items, including weapons and explosives. To do this, TSA uses imaging technology to safely screen passengers for any items which may be concealed under clothing, while X-ray units screen all carry-on baggage.