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Transportation Security Administration

TSA continued to detect firearms at Norfolk International Airport in 2016

Local Press Release
Thursday, January 12, 2017
This firearm was detected in a carry-on bag in April at Norfolk International Airport. (Photo courtesy of TSA.)

NORFOLK, Va. - Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped 14 guns at the Norfolk International Airport checkpoints in 2016, a decrease from the 16 caught in 2015.

Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA. However, travelers with proper firearm permits can travel legally with their firearms if they follow a few simple guidelines.

Norfolk International Airport

Number of Firearms TSA Stopped at Checkpoints










TSA officers continued their vigilance in protecting our nation’s transportation systems in 2016, including catching unusual items at the checkpoints. (For more specific information on unusual items, visit the TSA Blog at for photos and graphics. )

In total, 3,391 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging nine firearms per day, approximately a 28 percent increase in firearm discoveries from the total of 2,653 in 2015. Eighty-three percent of the guns caught in 2016 were loaded.

The top five airports where TSA officers detected guns at checkpoints in 2016 were: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International with 198; Dallas/Fort Worth International with 192; George Bush Intercontinental at Houston with 128; Phoenix Sky Harbor International with 101; and Denver International with 98. These same airports were in the top five for guns at checkpoints in 2014 and 2015.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. TSA advises travelers to familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure to ensure that they have the proper gun permits for the states that they are traveling to and from. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition so travelers should also contact the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies prior to arriving at the airport.

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Ammunition must be in its original box and can be packed inside the hard-side case, next to the firearm. Even if the box of ammunition is not full, the bullets must be in their original case. Then the case with the firearm should be brought to the airline check-in counter and the airline representative informed that the passenger wants to travel with the gun. Firearms are transported inside checked baggage and are placed in the belly of the aircraft. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm at

Firearms Detected at TSA Checkpoints Nationwide