HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A Kentucky resident was cited on weapons charges at Huntington Tri-State Airport on Saturday, May 9 after Transportation Security Administration officers caught him trying to pass through the security checkpoint with a loaded handgun.
The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the .380 caliber semi-automatic gun inside a carry-on bag that the traveler had in his possession as it passed along the conveyor belt. The gun was loaded with six rounds.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Huntington Tri-State Airport Police Department, which polices the airport. Officers responded to the checkpoint and confiscated the gun. The man said he did not know it was in his carry-on bag and claimed that a relative placed the gun into his bag.
The man, a resident of Catlettsburg, Kentucky, in Boyd County, was originally ticketed to fly to Charlotte, North Carolina. Airport operations were not impacted by the incident.
As a reminder, weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags. Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA of up to $11,000.
Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint, and TSA’s advice to passengers is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.
For more information about TSA prohibited items, please check the prohibited items list and traveling with firearms. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.