A Missouri woman was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at Yeager Airport when they detected a loaded gun in the woman’s carry-on bag, Sept. 21. The .38 caliber revolver was loaded with five bullets.
The woman had driven to West Virginia for business and was ticketed to fly back home to Missouri when a TSA officer spotted the firearm in the checkpoint X-ray machine. The woman told officials that she forgot that she had a loaded gun with her. TSA officials notified the Yeager Airport Police, who 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.
Two days earlier, on Sept. 19, a woman was also caught with a loaded .38 caliber revolver at Morgantown Municipal Airport by TSA officers there.
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 has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its web site. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.