NORFOLK, Va.—A Kentucky man was caught by the Transportation Security Administration with a loaded gun at a Norfolk International Airport checkpoint Tuesday, June 26, marking the third gun caught at one of the airport checkpoints so far this month. It marked the 11th firearm that TSA officers have caught at the airport so far this year, exceeding the 10 that were caught during all 12 months of 2017—and we aren’t even half-way through 2018.
“Owners of firearms need to know how to properly pack a gun for a flight,” said Jeffrey Horowitz, TSA’s assistant federal security director for Norfolk International Airport. “A firearm should never be brought to a checkpoint. The proper way to travel with a firearm is to make sure it is unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided case and taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared. The airline will make sure the gun is placed with checked baggage in the belly of the plane so that nobody has access to it during the flight.”
Typically passengers caught with guns at the checkpoint claim that they forgot that they had their firearm with them. “For the safety of everyone, if you own a firearm, it is imperative to know where it is at all times,” Horowitz said.
Number of firearms caught at the Norfolk International Airport Checkpoints
Norfolk International Airport
Number of Firearms TSA Stopped at Checkpoints
11 (as of 6-26-18)
As a reminder, individuals who bring weapons to a checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. Even individuals with gun carry permits are not permitted to carry a gun on an aircraft. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. The complete list of penalties is posted online.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. 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.
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.