MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A West Virginia woman was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at Morgantown Municipal Airport yesterday morning, Sept. 19 when they detected a loaded gun in the woman’s carry-on bag. The revolver was loaded with five bullets.
The woman recently moved to West Virginia and was ticketed to fly to Texas to attend the funeral of a family member when a TSA officer spotted the firearm in the checkpoint X-ray machine. The handgun was inside a handbag, which was stuffed inside a duffle bag. The woman told officials that she forgot that she had her loaded gun with her.
TSA officials notified the Morgantown Police, which responded to the checkpoint and confiscated the gun.
When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. Guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.
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 past TSA checkpoints. 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.
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 their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.