CHARLESTON, WV. – A Charleston, West Virginia, man was cited by police after a Transportation Security Administration officer at Yeager Airport (CRW) spotted a loaded gun in the man’s carry-on bag at the airport checkpoint this morning.
The man was stopped at the checkpoint with a .38 caliber revolver loaded with six bullets. The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint spotted the handgun as it appeared on the X-ray monitor.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Yeager Airport Police, who responded and confiscated the gun and cited the man on weapons charges. There was no impact to airport operations. The traveler told officials that he did not know that his loaded gun was in his carry-on bag.
It marked the second gun that TSA officers have caught so far this year at the checkpoint. In 2017, TSA officers stopped six firearms from getting through the security checkpoint.
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-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.
As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. Even travelers with concealed carry permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes. In addition, TSA has the authority to access 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 here: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/civil-enforcement.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its web site here: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.