NORFOLK, Va.—A Transportation Security Administration officer detected a loaded handgun in a carry-on bag at a Norfolk International Airport checkpoint last Friday morning (Jan. 12), marking the first gun caught at one of the airport’s checkpoints this year.
The woman, a resident of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was stopped by a TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine and spotted the .38 caliber handgun, which was loaded with five bullets.
The woman told officials that she forgot that she had her loaded gun with her. TSA immediately contacted the Norfolk Airport Authority Police, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and cited the woman on a weapons charge.
As a reminder, individuals who bring weapons to a checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. The complete list of penalties is posted online at TSA.gov.
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.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on TSA.gov. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.