CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Williamson, West Virginia, man was caught with a loaded gun at Yeager Airport today and was cited by police on a weapons charge.
As the man entered the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint, he began to place his carry-on items in bins to pass through the metal detector when he suddenly stopped and told TSA officers that he could not divest all of his belongings. When the TSA officers asked why not, the man said he had just remembered that he was carrying a loaded gun.
The man, a resident of Mingo County, West Virginia, was in possession of a .32 caliber handgun that was loaded with six bullets and a folding knife. TSA officers immediately contacted the Yeager Airport Police, which responded and confiscated the gun and knife from the man and cited him on a state weapons charge. There was no impact to airport operations.
This marks the second gun brought to the checkpoint in a week. On August 3, a man was cited trying to bring a loaded .45 caliber handgun through the checkpoint at Yeager Airport when TSA officers stopped him.
These incidents serve 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 of up to $11,000.
Visit TSA’s website for details on how to properly travel with a firearm. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.