NORFOLK, Va. — A Chesapeake, Virginia, man was caught by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) with a loaded handgun at a Norfolk International Airport checkpoint on Sunday, September 16, marking the 17th firearm that TSA officers have caught at the airport so far this calendar year, far exceeding the 10 that were caught during all 12 months of 2017.
The man was carrying a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun loaded with five bullets.
Airport police were contacted, responded to the checkpoint and allowed the man to hand off the weapon to a non-traveling companion. However, he is still subject to federal civil penalties.
Number of firearms caught at the Norfolk International Airport checkpoints
|Norfolk International Airport||Number of firearms TSA stopped at checkpoints|
|2018||17 (as of 9/16/18)|
Individuals who bring weapons to the checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. 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. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. 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.