RICHMOND, Va. – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel stopped 71 guns from boarding planes in Virginia at airport checkpoints in 2017.
According to TSA, the number of guns stopped at airport checkpoints in Virginia went down from 79 guns found in 2016.
While most airports saw a decrease in gun stops at checkpoint, Richmond International and Charlottesville-Albermarle Regional airports saw a rise in guns being detected.
“In total, 3,957 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country last year, averaging about 11 firearms per day, approximately a 17 percent increase in firearm discoveries from the total of 3,391 detected in 2016. Eighty-four percent of the guns caught in 2017 were loaded,” said TSA in a press release.
Bringing a firearm to the checkpoint of an airport can result in criminal charges from law enforcement. Even if a traveler has a concealed weapons permit they are still not allowed to carry the gun on a plane, officials say.
Norfolk International Airport saw a decrease to ten guns in 2017 from 14 in 2016. Newport News-Williamsburg Regional Airport saw a decrease to two guns found at airport checkpoints in 2017, from three found in 2016.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked and packed separately from ammunition. Click here, to see the exact regulations for checking a firearm at an airport.
Individuals who bring weapons to a checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. The complete list of penalties is posted online here.