Woman caught with loaded gun at Yeager International Airport security checkpoint

Local Press Release
Monday, June 10, 2024
This handgun was intercepted at the TSA checkpoint inside a traveler’s carry-on bag on June 9. (TSA photo)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Beckley, W.Va., woman was stopped by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at West Virginia International Yeager Airport with a loaded firearm on Sunday, June 9. The 9mm purple and black firearm had a magazine loaded with six bullets.

TSA officers halted the screening process and immediately notified the police, who responded to the checkpoint and confiscated the gun. TSA does not confiscate guns, law enforcement does. Police also cited the woman on a weapons charge.

Guns are not permitted to be carried into or through the security checkpoint and now the woman also faces a stiff financial civil penalty from TSA. The penalty for carrying weapons can reach a maximum of $15,000.

Firearms caught by TSA at the airport checkpoint in West Virginia, 2015 to 2024










2024 As of 6/9/24

West Virginia International Yeager Airport (CRW)











 “It is disappointing to see travelers continue to bring their firearms to our checkpoints instead of properly packing them for a flight,” said John C. Allen TSA’s Federal Security Director for West Virginia. “If you want to travel with your firearm, all that we ask is that you pack it the right way for a flight. It is a fairly simple process. For starters, it needs to be unloaded. Pack the unloaded gun in a hard-sided locked case. Take the case to the airline check-in counter and declare that you want to fly with it. The airline will make sure it is transported to your destination in the belly of the plane so that nobody has access to it during the flight. It really is that easy.”

A properly packed firearm: Unloaded in a locked hard-sided case. (TSA photo)
A properly packed firearm: Unloaded in a locked hard-sided case. (TSA photo)

Passengers are only permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage. Firearms must be unloaded then packed in a hard-sided locked case. 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.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and gun owners have a duty to ensure they are not violating any local firearm laws. Additionally, contacting the respective airline could reveal any additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Bringing a gun to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil penalty because 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 gun 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 a concealed carry permit does not allow a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. Additionally, if a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

Unsure if an item should be packed in a carry-on bag, checked bag, either or neither? Download the free myTSA app, which has a handy “What can I bring?” feature that allows you to type in the item to find out if it can fly. Or ask on Twitter or Facebook Messenger at @AskTSA. Travelers may send a question by texting “Travel” to AskTSA (275-872).