NORFOLK, Va.—Transportation Security Administration officers caught a local man trying to bring a loaded gun onto his flight from Norfolk to Chicago yesterday, Aug. 23.
The man, a resident of Virginia Beach, was stopped by TSA officers at the checkpoint with a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun loaded with six bullets. There was no impact to airport operations.
TSA officers detected the gun as the man was passing through the airport checkpoint. The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the firearm as it passed along the conveyor belt inside the carry-on bag.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Norfolk Airport Authority Police, which responded, confiscated the gun and issued the man a citation on a state weapons charge.
This incident serves as a reminder that individuals are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint and TSA’s advice to travelers is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items. For more information about TSA prohibited items, please check the prohibited items list.
Weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are properly packed and declared to the airline. Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA.
Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.
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 the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.
The Transportation Security Administration screens approximately 2 million passengers and their luggage every day for prohibited items, including weapons and explosives. To do this, TSA uses imaging technology to safely screen passengers for any items which may be concealed under clothing, while X-ray units screen all carry-on baggage.