Norfolk, Va. – A man was cited on a state weapons charge Thursday after Transportation Security Administration found a loaded handgun in his carry-on luggage at Norfolk International Airport.
TSA officers detected the gun as it passed through the security checkpoint X-ray machine. The Taurus pistol was loaded with 17 rounds.
Norfolk Airport Authority Police were immediately contacted and they confiscated the gun and ammunition, as well as issued the citation to the gun’s owner.
The pistol was the 7th gun that TSA officers have detected at Norfolk so far this calendar year—the same number that were stopped during all 12 months of 2014.
This incident serves as a reminder that passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint and TSA’s advice to passengers is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.
Weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline. Passengers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA.
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-side 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 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 the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.