NORFOLK, Va. – For the second time in a two-day span, Transportation Security Administration officers stopped a passenger from bringing a loaded semi-automatic gun onto a flight departing from Norfolk International Airport.
Yesterday, August 25, TSA officers stopped a woman with a .40 caliber handgun loaded with four bullets. The woman had the gun packed in a firearm carrying case, but she told officials that she forgot that she had the gun with her.
Two days earlier, on Tuesday, August 23, TSA officers caught a man trying to bring a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun loaded with six bullets through the checkpoint.
Both individuals were cited by airport police.
TSA officers detected the guns as the individuals were passing through the airport checkpoint. The TSA officers who were staffing the checkpoint X-ray machines detected the firearms as they passed along the conveyor belt inside the carry-on bag.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Norfolk Airport Authority Police, which responded, confiscated the guns in each instance and issued the travelers citations on state weapons charges. The two incidents are not related.
Both of these “gun catches” at the checkpoint serve 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. Travelers can view a comprehensive list of prohibited items.
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 has details online 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.
TSA 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.