Virginia man arrested after TSA catches him with loaded handgun at Philadelphia International Airport checkpoint

Local Press Release
Monday, January 6, 2020
TSA officers detected this handgun in a man’s carry-on bag at Philadelphia International Airport on Jan. 6. (TSA photo)

PHILADELPHIA – A Virginia man was arrested by police after Transportation Security Administration officers at Philadelphia International Airport detected a 9 mm handgun loaded with 16 bullets in the man’s carry-on bag this morning (Jan. 6).

It was not a good way for him to start the new year.

TSA contacted the Philadelphia Police Department, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and detained the man, a resident of Norfolk, Virginia, for questioning before arresting him on weapons violations.

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.

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 firearm permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes in their carry-on bags. If an individual is a TSA Pre✓® member, that person could even lose TSA Pre✓® status. In addition, TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,333 for weapons violations. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100. The complete list of penalties is posted online.

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.