NORFOLK, Va.—An area man was caught by the Transportation Security Administration with a loaded handgun at a Norfolk International Airport checkpoint on Thursday, March 28th. It marked the fourth gun that TSA officers have caught at the airport so far this year—all of which have detected this month and the second one in the last three days. In 2018, TSA officers stopped 21 guns at the airport’s checkpoints.
TSA officers detected a .22 caliber handgun in the carry-on bag of a Poquoson, Virginia, man yesterday and a .380 caliber gun was caught in the carry-on bag of a Virginia Beach resident on Tuesday. Thursday’s gun was loaded with five bullets, including one in the chamber. Airport police were contacted, responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the weapon and detained the man for questioning before citing him on weapons charges.
Individuals who bring weapons to the checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. The complete list of penalties is posted online.
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. 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.