BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – A Harrison County, WV, woman was stopped on Tuesday, March 19 with a loaded gun at North Central West Virginia Airport (CKB) in Bridgeport, WV, after Transportation Security Administration officers who were working at the airport checkpoint detected the gun in her carry-on bag.
The TSA officers contacted the Bridgeport City Police, who arrived at the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and detained the woman for questioning. The Shinnston, WV, resident told officials that she forgot that she had her .380 caliber handgun with her. It was loaded with four bullets.
It marked the first gun caught at the airport checkpoint this year.
Last year, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 11.6 firearms per day, approximately a 7 percent increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 3,957 detected in 2017. Eighty-six percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded and nearly 34 percent had a bullet in the chamber.
As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. Even travelers with concealed firearm permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes. In addition, TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,000 for weapons violations. 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 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.