ROANOKE, Va. – Transportation Security Administration officers at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA) prevented a Wythe County, Virginia, man from bringing a loaded .38 caliber semi-automatic handgun onto an airplane on Tuesday, May 10.
The Wytheville, Virginia, resident was stopped as he was entering the checkpoint with the handgun, which was loaded with six bullets. The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the handgun as it passed along the conveyor belt inside his carry-on bag.
Police confiscated the firearm and cited the man on a state weapons charge.
Individuals who show up with weapons at airport checkpoints cause the checkpoint lane to come to a halt, thus slowing the line and increasing the wait time for other travelers to get through the checkpoint.
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 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.
TSA’s website has details on how to properly travel with a firearm. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.