NORFOLK, Va. — A local man was caught by the Transportation Security Administration with a loaded handgun at a Norfolk International Airport checkpoint on Monday, Dec. 3, marking the 22nd firearm that TSA officers have caught at the airport so far this calendar year, more than doubling the 10 that were caught during 2017.
The man, a resident of Norfolk, Virginia, was carrying a .32 caliber handgun in one of his carry-on bags. The gun was loaded with six bullets.
Airport police were contacted, responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the weapon and detained the man for questioning before citing him on weapons charges.
Number of firearms caught at the Norfolk International Airport checkpoints
|Norfolk International Airport||Number of Firearms TSA Stopped at Checkpoints|
|2018 to date||22|
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.