Police cite Georgia man after TSA officers at Norfolk Airport catch him with loaded gun

Local Press Release
Monday, May 9, 2022
This handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Norfolk International Airport on May 8. (TSA photo)

NORFOLK, Va. – Transportation Security Administration officers at Norfolk International Airport stopped a Georgia resident from carrying a loaded handgun onto his flight on Sunday, May 8.    

TSA officers stopped the man when his carry-on bags triggered an alarm in the security checkpoint X-ray unit. Upon spotting the gun, TSA alerted the Norfolk Airport Authority Police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the handgun and cited the man on a weapons violation. The case will be forwarded to the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney for possible criminal prosecution.

The man was carrying a 9mm caliber handgun loaded with nine bullets, including one in the chamber.  

“Bringing a prohibited item to the checkpoint delays not only the individual who is caught with the prohibited item, but also can impact the checkpoint wait time of other travelers,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Bringing an illegal item such as a loaded gun amplifies that delay and often results in a criminal charge. Additionally, TSA will issue a stiff financial civil penalty.”

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms only in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided locked case, and packed separately from ammunition. Then the locked case should be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.

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 and can run into thousands of dollars. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and passengers should do their homework to make sure that they are not violating any local firearm laws. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Firearms caught by TSA officers at Norfolk International Airport checkpoints, 2016 to 2022









(As of 5/8/22)

Guns caught at Norfolk Airport checkpoints








TSA officers detected 23 guns at Norfolk International Airport at the checkpoints in 2021. Last year, 5,972 firearms were caught at airport security checkpoints nationwide. Eighty-six percent of those guns were loaded.