NORFOLK, VA—A North Carolina woman was cited by airport police after a Transportation Security Administration officer spotted her with a .380 caliber handgun loaded with six bullets at the Norfolk International Airport checkpoint on Friday, Feb. 21.
TSA officers detected the gun as the woman’s carry-on items entered the checkpoint X-ray machine. Airport police were contacted, responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the weapon and detained the woman for questioning before citing her on weapons charges.
Guns caught at Norfolk International Airport 2016 to 2020
Guns caught at Norfolk Int’l Airport checkpoint
Individuals who bring weapons to the checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,333. 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 $4,100. The complete list of penalties is posted online here: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/civil-enforcement.
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.
Nationwide last year, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 12.1 firearms per day, approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018. Eighty-seven percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its web site here: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.