CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Lincoln County, West Virginia, man was caught with a loaded handgun at Yeager Airport this morning and was issued a summons by police for carrying a loaded gun in an airport.
As the man entered the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint, he placed his carry-on items in bins to pass through the metal detector, and that’s when TSA officers spotted the semi-automatic handgun on the X-ray monitor.
The man, a resident of Harts, West Virginia, was in possession of a 9mm caliber handgun that was loaded with five bullets including one in the chamber. TSA officers immediately contacted the Yeager Airport Police, who responded and confiscated the gun from the man and cited him 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 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 up to $12,000.
TSA’s website has 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.