NORFOLK, Va. — Transportation Security Administration officers detected a handgun at the Norfolk International Airport checkpoint early this morning, November 16, just three days since the last gun catch. This marks the 15th gun that TSA officers detected at Norfolk so far this year—more than double the number of guns that were caught at the checkpoint during 2014.
On Monday morning, a Rappahannock County woman was stopped by TSA officers at the checkpoint with a .380 caliber handgun loaded with six rounds of ammunition—including one bullet that was in the chamber.
TSA officers detected the gun as the Amissville, Virginia resident was passing through the airport checkpoint. The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the handgun and ammunition as they passed along the conveyor belt.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Norfolk Airport Authority Police, which responded, confiscated the gun and ammunition and issued the woman a citation on a state weapons charge. There was no impact to airport operations.
This incident serves as a reminder that passengers are responsible for the contents of their bag they bring to the security checkpoint. 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. 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. Passengers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA.
For more information about prohibited items, please check the prohibited items list and the traveling with firearms page. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.
The Transportation Security Administration 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.