Kentucky man caught by TSA with loaded gun at Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport

Local Press Release
Monday, June 21, 2021
This handgun was detected by TSA officers among a passenger’s carry-on items at Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport on June 18. (TSA photo)

WEYERS CAVE, Va. – Transportation Security Administration officers at Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport prevented a man from carrying a loaded handgun onto his flight on Friday, June 18. The gun, loaded with 10 bullets, including one in the chamber, was detected in the X-ray machine among the Kentucky man’s carry-on items at the security checkpoint.

TSA alerted police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the handgun and cited the man, a resident of Louisville, Kentucky, on weapons charges. In addition to being arrested by the police, the man also faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty for bringing a loaded gun to an airport security checkpoint.

It was the first gun caught at the airport this year.

  TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. Civil penalties for bringing a handgun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating circumstances. 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. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

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.

Nationwide, TSA officers detected 3,257 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year, although the total number of passengers screened at airport checkpoints across the country fell by 500 million compared to 2019 due to the pandemic. The result was that twice as many firearms per million passengers screened were detected at checkpoints in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, TSA caught approximately 10 firearms per million passengers as compared to about five firearms per million passengers in 2019.  Of the guns caught by TSA in 2020, about 83 percent were loaded.