ROANOKE, Va. – Transportation Security Administration officers at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA) prevented a Botetourt County, Virginia, man from bringing a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun onto an airplane on Thursday, July 7.
The Blue Ridge, Virginia, resident was stopped as he was entering the checkpoint with the handgun, which was loaded with 10 bullets, including one in the chamber. The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the handgun as it passed along the conveyor belt inside the man’s carry-on bag.
Police confiscated the firearm and cited the man on a state weapons charge. The Roanoke area resident told officials he forgot that he had his gun with him.
Individuals who show up with weapons at airport checkpoints cause the checkpoint lane to come to a halt until police arrive and handle the situation.
As a reminder, weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags. Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA of up to $11,000.
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.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.