Suffolk man cited after trying to bring loaded gun through Norfolk International Airport security checkpoint

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Posted at 9:14 PM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 21:14:47-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Norfolk International Airport stopped a Suffolk man from trying to carry a loaded gun onto his flight on Sunday.

TSA officers stopped the man when his carry-on bags triggered an alarm in the security checkpoint's X-ray unit.

When TSA spotted the gun, they alerted the Norfolk Airport Authority Police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and cited the man on a weapons violation.

The man was carrying a 9mm caliber handgun that was loaded with 14 bullets, including one in the chamber.

In 2021, TSA officers detected 23 guns at Norfolk International checkpoints. Below is a list of the number of guns caught at the airport's checkpoints since 2016:

  • 2016: 14
  • 2017: 10
  • 2018: 21
  • 2019: 15
  • 2020: 12
  • 2021: 23

Last year, 5,972 firearms were caught at airport security checkpoints nationwide, and 86% of those guns were loaded.

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms only in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided locked case and packed separately from ammunition. Then, the locked case should be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.

TSA is reminding people it reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint. 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. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online and can run into thousands of dollars. If the traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that person will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

This case will be forwarded to the Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney for possible criminal prosecution.