WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The Transportation Security Administration stopped an Ohio man from carrying a loaded handgun onto an airplane at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport Friday.
According to TSA officials, officers detected the .380 caliber handgun in the man's carry-on bag and alerted the airport police, who responded to the checkpoint and confiscated the weapon.
The man told officials that he lives and works in a motel and carries the gun in case he needs it for personal protection, but he forgot that he had his loaded gun with him when he headed to the airport for his flight.
The TSA reminds passengers that they are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. To learn how to safely travel with a firearm, click here.
Nationwide, TSA officers detected 3,257 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year, although the total number of passengers screened at airport checkpoints across the country fell by 500 million compared to 2019 due to the pandemic.
In 2020, TSA caught approximately 10 firearms per million passengers as compared to about five firearms per million passengers in 2019.
Of the guns caught by TSA in 2020, about 83 percent were loaded.
NOTE: TSA said the photo above is illustrates the proper way to travel with a firearm. This was not the firearm that was caught at the checkpoint.