TSA detects handgun during security screening at Yeager Airport

Ohio man said he forgot he had his gun with him
Local Press Release
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
TSA officers at Yeager Airport discovered this handgun in a carry-on bag on August 3. (TSA photo)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a passenger from carrying a .380 caliber firearm onto his flight at Yeager Airport (CRW) on Tuesday, August 3. The gun was not loaded.

Once TSA officers discovered the handgun, they immediately notified the police, who responded to the checkpoint. The man, a resident of Marietta, Ohio, told officials that he forgot that he had his gun with him. He now faces a possible Federal civil penalty for bringing a gun to an airport security checkpoint.

“I strongly urge all gun owners to know where their firearm is before traveling to the airport.” said John C. Allen, TSA’s Federal Security Director for West Virginia. “Passengers are allowed to travel with their firearms and ammunition as long as they follow the proper procedures. Forgetting about a weapon in your bag is no excuse.”

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.

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 at their airline ticket counter. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.

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.

 Guns caught by TSA at the Yeager Airport checkpoint 2016 to 2021*








Guns caught at the








*Significantly fewer passengers due to the pandemic.

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.