Loaded handgun stopped at Yeager Airport checkpoint

Man said he forgot that he had his loaded gun with him
Local Press Release
This loaded handgun was detected by TSA officers at Yeager Airport on June 28. (TSA photo)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Barbour County, West Virginia, man was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at Yeager Airport on Sunday, June 28, when they detected a .40 caliber handgun loaded with 13 bullets, including one in the chamber along with an additional 21 loose bullets in his carry-on bag.

TSA officials notified the Yeager Airport Police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and detained the man for questioning prior to citing him on weapons charges. The man, a resident of Volga, W. Va., told officials that he forgot that he had his loaded gun with him.

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.

 “We never want to see an individual bring a firearm to a checkpoint,” said John Allen, TSA’s Federal Security Director for West Virginia. “The proper way to travel with a firearm is to make sure that it’s not loaded. Then pack it in a hard-sided case and lock the case. Next take it to your airline check-in counter to declare that you want to travel with your gun. The airline will make sure that the firearm is placed in the belly of the plane where nobody has access to it during the flight.”

Guns caught by TSA at the Yeager Airport checkpoint 2016 to 2020

Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

As of 6-28-20)

Guns caught at the

checkpoint

10

6

6

7

4

TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint. 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. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online.

Nationwide last year, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 12.1 firearms per day, approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018. Eighty-seven percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded.

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.

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